This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Auto Dealers Optimistic About 2014 And Planning To Grow Their Business, Chase Auto Finance Survey Finds

Two-thirds (66.4 percent) of auto dealership business owners believe the U.S. economy has already “bottomed out” and is getting better, according to the second annual survey of auto dealers by Chase Auto Finance. Nearly 8 in 10 dealers (79.4 percent) believe the auto industry as a whole is getting better.

The survey, performed in December 2013 among dealership clients that do business with Chase, found that dealers were most optimistic about their own business’s economy. Eighty-four percent of dealers say their business is past the worst of the economic downturn and is getting better – a 6.8 percent increase from the same survey performed in 2012. Up 8 points from last year’s survey, nine in ten (90.5 percent) say they are anticipating more than 5 percent in overall sales growth for their dealer.

Dealers planning to expand their business

Preparing their businesses to handle this growth, dealers are eyeing expansion plans. Key findings from the survey:

  • 71 percent are likely to expand their payroll in 2014 – nearly 10 percent higher than last year. Of those, nearly 30 percent plan to hire more than 6 people
  • 73 percent are likely to expand their inventory in the next six months – up from only 60 percent from a year ago
  • One in four will seek financing for their expansion. Forty-one percent of those dealers say they would use the financing to increase their floorplan – an 8 point increase from last year.

“We’ve seen dealer expectations on hiring and business expansion gain steadily year over year,” said Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Chase Auto Finance. “Our latest survey results support that, and show optimism for an economic recovery in the works.”

Dealers anticipate pre-owned vehicles, SUV’s, will be growth leaders

In thinking through the segments that will drive growth, dealers share their predictions:

  • Dealers believe that pre-owned sales will be the most likely category to drive growth in 2014 (41.3 percent), surpassing new sales (29 percent), which dropped six points from last year.
  • Votes for the sedan as the number one selling vehicle dropped nearly 24 points this year, with only 33 percent predicting the sedan would sell the most.
  • The SUV surged in popularity among dealers, with 28 percent predicting this vehicle would sell the most – a 19 percent increase from last year.
  • Overall, dealers believe that sedans (43.1 percent), SUV’s (41.2 percent), trucks (31.7 percent), and crossovers (28.2 percent) would “fuel growth” for their business.

Fleet sales drop

Only 26 percent of dealers say they participate in fleet sales – a 17.5 point decline from last year’s survey. Of those who do, nearly half (48.5 percent) say that they are expecting growth in this segment by less than 5 percent.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,238.28 +81.43 0.47%
S&P 500 2,010.66 +9.09 0.45%
NASDAQ 4,587.0260 +24.8370 0.54%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs