Independent Car Dealers Express Optimism in New NIADA/Equifax Survey

Mississippi IADA Executive Director Andrew Caldecott recently expressed cautious optimism about the state of the economy and what it means for BHPH and independent dealers in his organization. And now, the most recent results of the quarterly National Independent Automobile Dealers Association confidence survey backs up that insight.

According to information released by the NIADA, the survey, conducted in partnership with Equifax during the first quarter of this year, showed confidence up in virtually every sector: retail sales, consumer traffic, profitability, and economic conditions.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated they believe the economy will improve in the next quarter, a significant increase from the previous survey. Only 2%  said they thought the economy would decline, making it the first time since Q3 of 2015 that a majority of survey respondents expressed a positive outlook on economic conditions.

So what does that mean for the independent dealer? More than half (53%) of the respondents indicated that they were going to invest more in retail inventory and more than that (54%) plan to hire new staff to meet the expected upturn.

Why the newfound optimism? It could be the beginning of the year, a new president who promises significant pro-business changes or the well-documented uptick in available used vehicle inventory.

What about in our state? The United States Congress Joint Economic Committee released its state-by-state economic update on March 27, 2017, and it showed a decrease in unemployment for the State of Mississippi (down .3%) and an economic growth rate in the last quarter of 3.4% (as compared to 2.3% in the past 4 quarters). Thirteen hundred new jobs were also created in February of 2017.

Only time will tell if the NIADA/Equifax survey and the uptick in Mississippi’s economic numbers will effectively translate into more cars being sold on our members’ lots.

Are you optimistic? Seeing changes? We’d like to hear about it. Feel free to comment on Facebook and tell us what’s happening at your dealership.