A Closer Look at Record Automotive Industry Prices and Emerging EV Trends

May 25, 2022
The Autotrader Team

It’s no secret, the automotive industry has been seeing record industry prices for both new and used cars recently. But despite the increased cost to consumers, it doesn’t seem to be stopping shoppers. Also making headlines are the climbing gas prices, which in turn is causing an emerging EV trend.  

Presenting a challenge for both consumers and dealers alike, it’s time we took a closer look and these two of the many driving forces that are shaping a new path forward for the automotive industry. By doing this, dealers can learn how to empower their sales, retain customers and increase new business. 


Despite supply constraints and inflation woes, we see continued strength in consumer behavior on Autotrader and KBB.com. Cox Auto household data, that has been examining shoppers over the past 90 days, shows that not only are we seeing increases in new car and CPO shopping, but that consumers are researching higher price points. 

Below is a clear example of what consumers are willing to consider as well as shopping for during the study period: 

Cox Automotive Digital eBook

Although rising gas prices are making shoppers take a different look at hybrids and EV vehicles, it’s had little influence on the brands shoppers are considering. While shoppers are certainly curbing behavior in many ways, buying cars is still a priority.  

Cox Automotive Digital eBook

How dealers can overcome

These challenges don’t have to be roadblocks… they present opportunities for change. With the industry, consumer behavior, and the automotive purchase process having some rapid and big shifts, by recognizing the importance of the following you’ll continue to drive your business forward. 

Be present throughout the shoppers’ journey  

Shoppers are still out there. They need help navigating the new world. They want access to the right and most up-to-date information during all four phases of the purchase process – explore, consider, select, buy. Especially when they know both new and used automotive pricing is experiencing industry highs. 

What is your dealership doing to stay top of mind? Answer these following questions and consider new ways in this shortened buyer purchase cycle: 

  • How often is your online information and inventory updated? 
  • How often do you complete an online audit of the information you are providing to make sure it is up to date? 
  • Is the information you are providing clear and match what your customer is looking for in order to take the next step? 

Give clear leasing and purchase terms 

If you desire increased loyalty and satisfaction, as well as the goal of providing an expedited purchasing process, it’s more important than ever to present clear leasing or purchase terms for those looking for different options. And although this has always been important, with a shift to increased online activity as well as shortened buyer purchase cycle, ask yourself these important questions that could fast-track you from being a deal seeker to a Deal Doer: 

  • How often are your leasing and purchase terms updated and are they up to date? 
  • Do they provide different options and move a shopper along the buying process seamlessly? 
  • When a shopper is ready to complete the purchase, do the lease and purchase terms match exactly what they were provided online? 

The Deal Doers solution 

Want help to make the buying process a more informed one for your customer?  

Enabling digital retail solutions such as My Wallet, Accelerate My Deal and Digital Retailing will give shoppers the most accurate financial information to give them the best guidance for their shopping journey. 

Beat your competition when it comes to shoppers who are considering EVs thanks to the higher gas prices. Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer can help you acquire those used hybrid and EV vehicles. 

Interested is downloading a copy of our NEW eBook – The TOP 4 THINGS You Can Do Right NOW at Your Dealership to EMPOWER Your Sales, RETAIN Customers and INCREASE Your Business? Access your free copy