We’ve heard all the stories about supply chain issues, and have read the quarterly earnings reports from various radio broadcasting companies that reflect automotive ad dollar slowdowns. But, how are some of the top local deals in one of the biggest U.S. Hispanic markets faring?
All is exceptional — but the inventory and profit-making opportunities have greatly rewritten the “normal.”
Bean Automotive Group Marketing Director Alex Sanchez says that, from his Toyota/Lexus perspective, they are selling cars as fast as they get them. The issue is the supply. “Business is OK. Dealers are doing OK. But when are we going to get to a 150-car weekend, or a 200-car weekend?”
Thus, varieties of the same car model are limited to the consumer, and for Sanchez that’s the biggest frustration.
Danny Sanguily, GM of Miami-based Tropical Chevrolet, says used cars have become his bread and butter. “I don’t think I’ve had one car in inventory for a year and a half. We get them, but they are already sold. They come in and go right now. And, the crazy thing today is that used cars are now worth more than new cars. Why? A used car you can get. A new car you can’t. When is it going to change? Hmmm … I don’t know, and they may not want it to change because factories are making more money than ever. Why would one want to build a car and have it sit in inventory? Either way, dealerships today are probably living the best years of their lives. Margins are higher. I don’t think we are complaining.”
Ferny Rodriguez, Ocean Mazda GM, believes he is a unique situation. His automotive brand has seen strong growth since 2019. But, it became a situation where whatever was available, he agreed to take. That was the reality of the new car situation for Rodriguez. The used car operation? That’s what is perhaps the bigger focal point for the Mazda dealer serving Miami-Dade County.
Juan Dominguez, President of Speed Advertising, says today auto dealers operate in a completely different landscape — a “new normal” that’s likely here to say. Take for instance all-wheel drive vehicles. In Miami, there’s historically been light demand for such vehicles. Today, they’re selling because that’s what been sent from the Northeast. Eager buyers are ponying up for the 2022 models.
With Carolina Patino, GSM of SBS in Miami, moderating the panel, Sanguily shared that electric vehicles generate a lot of talk, but not a lot of action — at least at Chevrolet. While in California it’s not a trend, at Ocean Mazda Sanguily notices more Teslas are on the road. But, after a short period, he sees people don’t want them anymore. “The talk of electric cars is there,” but Rodriguez is also wary of where some of these auto brands are going on the matter.