The auto industry will close out 2017 with U.S. sales of 17.1 million units -- its first sales decline in seven years. How car makers respond to this downturn could mean good news for the detailing industry but deep trouble for already cash-strapped Americans who can’t afford a car.
According to a recent study from Bankrate.com, the median-income household could not afford the average price of a new vehicle in any of the 50 largest cities in the country.
“In the past 35 years, the cost of a new car has gone up 35 percent, a used car is up 25 percent, and at the same time, the median household income is only up 3 percent,” says Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst for Autotrader.
If consumers want a new vehicle they will enter into a lease purchase, which often means a lower monthly payment than financing.
High-end dealers like Porsche and Cadillac have been experimenting with subscription plans. The Porsche passport and BOOK by Cadillac subscriptions bundle insurance, roadside assistance, vehicle tax and registration and maintenance costs into one monthly payment. Membership is month to month with no long-term requirement.
So what does all of this mean for auto detailers? One might say more business. Lease vehicles are put up for sale once surrendered. We’re talking about thousands of cars monthly that need to be detailed and put back in the showroom. And if more high-end car makers like Porsche start offering monthly subscriptions the opportunities could be endless. Always check in with your local dealers to see what type of services they’re offering.
Here’s to 2018!