ATD Blog

Will the New Car Market Ever Go Back to Normal?

The COVID-19 pandemic sent a ripple effect through global manufacturing. For auto enthusiasts, the changes it caused to the new car market have been drastic and lasting. The average cost of new cars has increased by nearly 30% since 2020, and while prices have begun to stabilize, there’s no sign of a return to the baseline.

Changes to the automotive market aren’t just limited to increased costs — the way we shop for and buy new cars seems forever changed, too. If you’re considering a new vehicle purchase, here’s what you need to know to take advantage of the new normal.

Front of new carThe Post-Covid Automotive Market

Labor and raw materials shortages created overwhelming backlogs for car manufacturers during the pandemic. Inventory issues aside, lockdowns made the traditional method of shopping for new cars obsolete. Rather than spend a weekend visiting showroom floors, interacting directly with salespeople, and negotiating prices, the car buying process went largely digital.

While this new way of choosing your next vehicle may require some additional patience as you wait for delivery, it affords savvy shoppers more flexibility and customization than ever before.

Preorders Are the New Normal for New Cars

Pandemic inventory struggles have taught us to plan ahead. In fact, nearly half of consumers report that they plan to preorder their next new vehicle.

Manufacturers’ online preordering systems have made it easier than ever to browse virtual showrooms and explore options for making your new vehicle your own. Though the current market has come with higher prices and (sometimes long) wait times for delivery, it’s also introduced advantages for both buyers and manufacturers.

Manufacturers Are More Profitable Than Ever

Man receiving key to new car while shaking hands on the deal

The popularity of preordering has eliminated a great deal of friction for automotive manufacturers. Virtual showrooms reduce overhead and lessen the need for sales staff. Assembling vehicles to order and delivering them directly prevents dealerships from having to maintain inventory on a lot or transport bulk orders from state to state hoping they match with potential buyers.

Perhaps the most controversial difference in this new system is that it removes the opportunity to negotiate — a win for shoppers who hate haggling, but a source of frustration for those who like to come in below sticker price.

Navigating the New Car Market

Custom orders for vehicles used to be relatively rare, but now around 60% of potential buyers say they plan to customize their next vehicle. Here are some tips for using the preordering process to get the car of your dreams.

Take Advantage of Customization Options

It’s not just about paint, rims, and interiors. Many manufacturers are offering special features that focus on safety, comfort, and convenience.

As you browse inventory and explore manufacturers’ online shopping tools, think about the features that matter most to you, like:

  • Park assist systems
  • Backup cameras
  • Dual airbags
  • Keyless entry
  • Hands-free phone control

Schedule Paint Protection and Window Tinting

While you wait for your preorder to be delivered, take advantage of this window of opportunity to schedule PPF installation, ceramic coating, or window tinting. No one wants to wait weeks or months for their new vehicle only to discover that their detailing shop is fully booked.

Plan your paint protection around your delivery date so that you can preserve your pristine paint job and worry less about scuffs and scratches on the road.

Use Preordering to Budget Better

With the rising cost of new vehicles, it’s not always possible to get all of the services you want at once. The low-pressure environment of online ordering allows shoppers to make more informed decisions and pre-plan for the added cost of paint protection.

If you want to preserve the value of your preorder while being mindful of your budget, the detailing experts at ATD are here to help you understand which services are right for you and your new car.

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