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Seller optimism, profitability nonetheless sturdy

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The Cox survey asks sellers how they perceived the previous 90 days, gauges their outlook for the following three months and identifies key elements affecting their optimism or pessimism. Cox surveyed 1,123 sellers — 595 franchised and 528 impartial — for the fourth quarter. Cox weighs responses by dealership sort and gross sales quantity to calculate a diffusion index. An index quantity better than 50 signifies sellers view circumstances as constructive.

Sellers’ general sentiment concerning the automobile market continued to chill although was nonetheless sturdy, scoring 60 within the fourth-quarter survey — down from 62 within the second quarter however up from 49 a yr in the past. Franchised sellers had a extra constructive view of the market than impartial sellers, ranking it 70 — down from 73 within the second quarter however up from 61 within the year-ago quarter. Franchised vendor outlook for the following 90 days dipped barely, coming in at 69, although that also is taken into account strongly constructive.

But sellers considered the present new-vehicle gross sales setting as weak, producing a rating of 45. It was one in every of solely two instances the index dipped under 50 within the survey’s existence. The opposite was within the second quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 financial floor zero, which drew a 39.

Many survey respondents referred to as out greater prices.

“Costs on every part have been rising, together with components, equipment, and so on.,” a Toyota vendor within the South stated. “Additionally, the scarcity of staff has precipitated wages to rise sharply.”

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