Used Cars in the Storm 3: Under the Macro-scope

November 29, 2012 / John Paul Strong / 0 Comments /

Image courtesy of Flicker

The estimates for damages sustained in the Northeast during Hurricane Sandy have reached billions of dollars and confirm the initial reaction of many online observers scrolling through the photo galleries of destruction – most memorably, cars floating down the street. Still to be determined is how the estimated 230,000 lost or damaged vehicles will be replaced – and at what price. But there’s no question that the impact to the industry is nationwide. The affected area accounts for over 20 percent of overall vehicle sales.

To bring this situation home, look at your current inventory not through a microscope, but a macro-scope to get the big picture. The pressure of used car demand is driving up wholesale prices so you could be ahead value-wise, certainly in the next few weeks. The upward price movement is a fluid condition that managers must monitor carefully, especially with the biggest sale week of the holiday season still ahead.

Image courtesy of Flicker

One other big picture positive I feel emerging is that fact-based used car shoppers are also aware of the supply and demand condition created in the wake of the storm – a situation that continues to get coverage online and on the networks. This can bring great results, but it is even more reason to make sure you are ahead of, or certainly anticipating, price movement across the board.

Here’s an educated guess: The used segment would have seen an uptick even without this “perfect storm.”  I believe the fact that vehicles currently on the road are, on average, 10 years old was going to boost used car pricing anyway. As you will read in Strong’s December newsletter, our market is driving on borrowed time. Take a long look through the macro-scope because now is the perfect time to focus on your used car big picture.


About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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