Auto dealers expect 2015 to be another good year, though perhaps not quite as good as 2014.
They headed to San Francisco for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention after just having closed the books on what was, for almost all of them, a profitable 2014 — notably, even in the new-car department.
Looking ahead, they’re adding headcount, but they see more revenue potential in used vehicles than new ones. Those are the conclusions from an unscientific online survey that Automotive News conducted as last year was wrapping up, Dec. 15-18.
Of the 148 respondents, 71% said they expect vehicle sales at their dealerships this year to be better or much better than last year. That’s down from 74% a year earlier, and 82% going into 2012, when the industry was still rebounding smartly from the recession.
The modest overall change masks a loss of some euphoria. Just 8% said they expect vehicle sales to be much better in the coming year, down from 15% a year earlier and 18% in early 2012.
“About the same” was how 25% of respondents summed up their sales expectations for this year, up from 23% a year earlier and just 15% in 2012.
This year will be another profitable one, survey respondents said. The outlook for 2015 is for better or much better profits, said 72% of respondents. That is little changed from 71% a year earlier but off from 76% going into 2012.
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