April Auto Retail Trends to Help Inform Your Summer Sales Strategy


With auto manufacturers across the board reporting sales gains last month, April was the 20th consecutive month that SUVs and trucks outsold cars in the US, proving that these vehicles remain popular among drivers.


The typical SUV sells for just a few hundred dollars more than a comparable car and many more have reasonable gas mileage, which could be why the American shopper is increasingly choosing SUVs over cars.

Even shoppers who research small cars online end up purchasing a compact SUV when they actually get to the showroom.

The rising popularity of the entry-level SUV has made it more difficult for auto brands to sell other vehicles. To move sedans, brands may start to offer summer incentives and promotions on non-SUVs, foreseeing a potential boom in sedan sales this summer. Stay tuned to see if sedans become summer’s best-selling car.

Shoppers begin their research months prior to purchase (traffic of which almost half derives from tablet and mobile devices, a 13 percent increase from April 2014). Shoppers may start off their research by looking at a Camry, for example, but realize they get better value from a compact SUV. Not surprisingly, almost half (46 percent) of all auto research and site traffic comes from tablets and mobile devices, a 13 percent increase from April 2014.

With mobile research and mobile-driven traffic alone increasing 44.7 percent from last year, it is more important than ever for your dealership’s site to be mobile-friendly. Google’s latest algorithm update, effective as of April 21, 2015, expanded to include a site’s mobile-friendliness in its ranking ­­– good news if you are using a Dealer.com Seamless Website. Download our eBook and read about the science and intention behind Seamless.

Equally notable for dealerships, social media has continued to make striking gains, accounting for 124 percent more website traffic than in April 2014.

Is your dealership experiencing a surge of SUV and pickup truck sales? Are you planning any summer specials to promote the sales of sedans? Let us know in the comments below.

Dave Winslow is Vice President, Digital Strategy at Dealer.com