The Civic Automobile Dealers Association’s latest anniversary new-vehicle sales anticipation for 2020 may announce a bashful abatement in U.S. car sales in 2020, abundantly attributable to ascent transaction prices, while analysts at Edmunds are admiration 2020 will be accession solid year for new-vehicle sales — with new car sales afresh accretion 17.1 million.
Either way, abounding Jacksonville car dealers were admiring with sales levels in 2019 and, like the analysts, apprehend abundant of the aforementioned in the new year.
At North Florida Lincoln on Southside Boulevard, General Sales Administrator Morris Jelks said the “rebirth” of the Lincoln Aviator, which accustomed in the fourth quarter, gave them a able agent to end the year.
“The Aviator was ranked third nationally in sales, so we’re actual aflame to accept a abounding year with the Lincoln Aviator in 2020,” Jelks said.
Top sellers for Lincoln in 2019 included the Nautilus, followed by the MKC (renamed Corsair for 2021), the Navigator, forth with Aviator and MKZ.
Based on chump confidence, Jelks expects 2020 to be a able year for the Lincoln brand, as well.
“Next year, we’re actual aflame with the accession of the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring that will affection Lincoln’s aboriginal constituent hybrid, a abounding year with the Lincoln Corsair, and befitting the Lincoln Black Label calendar (which includes the Navigator, Aviator, the Aviator Grand Touring and the Nautilus),” Jelks said. “2020 is activity to be an agitative year for our advisers at North Florida Lincoln, for the Lincoln cast and added importantly, for consumers. With the administration of the brand, North Florida Lincoln is assertive to be about for accession 75 years.”
A few afar abroad at Duval Acura on Atlantic Boulevard, General Administrator James Saale says business has been good: the dealership is tracking aloft its plan in both its genitalia and account departments and tracking at its projections for new car sales.
“Used cars accept been a little bit of a attempt for us, but our advantage for the dealership all-embracing is aloof area it needs to be,” Saale said. “Also, chump aplomb for Acura is actual high.”
Based on Duval Acura’s sales and account annal in 2019, the dealership is in band to be awarded the “Precision Team Award,” which is alone awarded by the architect to its top dealers. Saale says with the win this year, it will be the 11th time — and the seventh afterwards year — the dealership was accustomed this recognition.
While the Internet is important in new car sales, Saale says it absolutely represents an accession to the dealership — and hasn’t in any way bargain the cardinal of buyers who still arise to the dealership to acquaintance the cartage first-hand.
“We see a lot added audience starting on the Internet accomplishing their analysis on pricing, agent availability and additionally absorption bottomward to the cartage that they like,” he said. “We’re still seeing a aerial allotment of them absent to arise into the dealership to complete the transaction — get central the car, drive the car, and basically do the ‘whole deal.’
“Most audience still appetite to accept the alternation with the dealership and are allurement for added added casework afterwards the sale, like home delivery,” Saale said. “So, we’re putting the technology in abode now to lath those new chump needs as they arise about.”
For Duval Acura, its top sellers are the MDX (its seven-passenger, full-sized SUV) and RDX — the two hottest-selling Acura cartage nationwide.
Saale says sales of the TLX auto are additionally actual strong, authoritative the architect an outlier in this regard. Auto sales accept been crumbling all-embracing for several years as full-size and crossover SUVs accept acquired in acceptance with U.S. buyers.
“Strong sales in sedans is accepting rarer and rarer, but there’s still a appeal for them and for Acura, it’s our third acknowledged vehicle,” Saale said.
In 2020, based on its own projections and those from the manufacturer, Saale says advancing sales to be at about the aforementioned akin as they were in 2019.
“We’re aflame to see the absolution of a redesigned 2021 Acura MDX, as able-bodied as the 2021 TLX, so both our SUV and our auto are activity to be absolutely overhauled, application some newer technologies that the architect has already put into abode in the 2020 RDX, so we’re absolutely aflame to see those changes,” Saale said.
The Acura dealership is allotment of the Duval Motor Company, which opened the aboriginal Ford dealership in Jacksonville in 1916 and is now beneath its fourth bearing of ownership. In accession to Duval Ford and Duval Acura, the aggregation additionally has a Subaru dealership in Gainesville and aloof purchased a dealership in Starke, now operating as Duval Chevrolet.
Just bottomward the artery from Duval Acura are several dealerships additionally managed by a family’s fourth bearing — the Tom Bush Ancestors of Dealerships. The company’s Volkswagen, BMW, MINI and Mazda dealerships are amassed forth Atlantic Boulevard, which aggregation carnality admiral Brian Bush says is abundant back cross-shopping with customers.
“It’s absolutely been a acceptable year for us beyond the board, and we’re aflame for 2020,” Bush said. “We’re ambitious, so we ahead it’s activity to be alike bigger for us. Alike admitting it’s advancing the bazaar won’t be as able as this year, it will be abutting to it and we plan to access our bazaar share.”
The Bush ancestors has been ambience up for success over the aftermost few years, best conspicuously in the advance of its showrooms. The action began aloof afterwards MINI was accustomed its own area in 2012, followed by the move of its collision/service center, which became its new BMW exhibit alien in 2016. Advance of its Volkswagen dealership was completed beforehand this year, with its new stand-alone Mazda exhibit aloof accomplished a few weeks ago.
“We’re consistently alive to advance the acquaintance for our barter back they appointment our showrooms,” Bush said. “When you airing into a exhibit like our new Mazda location, it has a added exceptional feel. Mazda as a cast itself is affective into a added exceptional space, so now we accept a ability to bout that.”
In agreement of agent sales, Bush addendum SUVs represent about 25 percent of purchases, which agency sales abstracts would be college at its BMW and Mazda dealerships accustomed the acceptance of the Mazda CX5 and BMW X1 Crossover — now beyond and alms a third row of seating.
“BMW was abundant in 2019, in which we had the youngest artefact band we’ve anytime had in the X7, Z4, 8 alternation and X5,” he said. “All of those came out in the aftermost 18 months, so that drive will abide into abutting year.”
In 2020, Bush says they ahead the barrage of the new Mazda CX30 — a new SUV that slots in amid the CX3 and CX5 (the architect couldn’t use the name CX4).
“It’s added advancing and sportier attractive than the CX3 and has a bigger agent giving you added power, so we ahead it will do nicely,” he said.
Bush additionally addendum that 2020 will be “the year of the electrics” for some of its added brands. MINI will barrage its aboriginal all-electric agent in March (joining the accessible constituent hybrid), and VW will barrage the examination of its aboriginal electric of its I.D. alternation of cartage — the I.D. Crozz, a zero-emission SUV with an electric four-wheel-drive powertrain.
With electric vehicles, Bush admits that while there’s a lot action surrounding the announcements, sales in this area actuality accept not been that strong.
“I ahead it’s still adequately new for Jacksonville, but the basement to abutment electric cartage is accepting there,” he said. “The North Florida Transportation Planning alignment has put in some charging stations acknowledgment to some grants, but best apparently has to do with the acumen of electric vehicles.
“While they may alone get about 125 to 150 afar on a charge, that’s absolute for active about boondocks or circadian commuting,” Bush said. “They aren’t fabricated for the long-haul, cross-country trips yet.”
Bush says that alike admitting all the aloft brands will be advancing out with their own electric vehicles, the appeal will initially be bendable amid consumers.
“Having an electric agent is a new amount in accomplishing business if you’re a architect … and some are absolutely bullish on it,” he said. “We aloof abounding a VW affair and they ahead they will be the aboriginal to accomplish a accumulation on them because they accept scale. All their plants common allotment the aforementioned platform, so they’ve been able to advance the amount out.”
Meanwhile, at Nimnicht Buick GMC on South Philips Highway, General Administrator Jackie Lynch letters a able accomplishment in 2019.
“The added bisected was stronger than the first, which is great, and we ahead that drive will backpack on into 2020,” Lynch said. “In this time of year, November and December, abounding of the baby business owners and abounding of their accountants acquaint them, ‘You had a acceptable year, and you charge to absorb some money or you’re activity to pay taxes on it,’ so we, as able-bodied as every added car dealer, account from that.
“So, we accept owners who’ll arise in and either buy a agent for themselves or their wives, so it’s archetypal we’ll advertise the best big-ticket trucks and SUVs that we accept at the end of the year,” Lynch said.
Lynch says the aforementioned holds accurate in his bartering department, area the business owners arise to acquirement new accumulated vehicles.
In 2020, Lynch is aflame about the new 2021 Yukon from GMC, and the contempo accession of the 2020 Sierra HD diesel/gas full-size auto truck, featuring an all-new design.
“Right now, the suppliers haven’t been able to accumulate up with the appeal for it, so that’s a actual acceptable assurance of its popularity,” Lynch said.
Lynch is additionally bullish on the new Buick Encore GX on the way in 2020; it’s a premium-size auto SUV actuality alien to one of the hottest segments of buyers in the U.S.
Car-shopping experts at Edmunds address that consumers connected affective abroad from commuter cars in favor of SUVs and trucks aftermost year. In the fourth division of 2019, Edmunds estimated SUVs would abduction added than 50 percent bazaar allotment for the aboriginal time.
At the aforementioned time, with beneath sedans on the market, abnormally amid calm automakers, consumers are alive to crossover cartage with college amount tags. Luckily, back the civic abridgement has remained stable, forth with the amount of fuel, dealers accept abhorred the bazaar altitude that commonly animate barter to bandy into affordable abridgement cars or artlessly authority assimilate their accepted ride.
Along with the backbone of the SUV market, Edmonds predicts the bazaar allotment for auto trucks will additionally hover aloft 19 percent — a akin not apparent back 2005.
“Trucks appropriate now are aloof actual constant for us, and we don’t see that alteration anytime soon,” Lynch said.
At the aforementioned time, bazaar allotment for commuter cars was accepted to hit an best low of about 26 percent in the fourth quarter.
In total, Edmunds analysts estimated that aloof over 17.1 actor new cartage would be awash by the end of 2019, appearance the fifth afterwards year that new agent sales were projected to top 17 million.
“The actuality that new car sales accept backward this able for this continued absolutely defies the odds, abnormally accustomed that aerial absorption ante and almanac prices awkward buyers this year,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds chief administrator of industry insights. “But if 2019 accomplished us anything, it’s that you can’t belittle the ability of a able economy.”
Edmunds analysts additionally acclaimed that the acceptable anniversary anniversary sales contest were accepted to accumulate dealerships active in backward December, giving automakers absolute drive branch into 2020.
Lynch, forth with best of the added dealers in Jacksonville, planned to put in a lot of hours over the holidays to booty advantage of that surge.
“I’ll be actuality every day through the holidays,” Lynch said aftermost week. “We’ll be adulatory our 79th year in business abutting year, one year abroad from the big 80, so we’re aloof aflame to still be actuality and serve the community.”
Ron Whittington is a Jacksonville Beach-based freelance biographer and Drive contributor. His 2019 used-car recap/2020 angle will arise in the Jan. 11 Drive section.
©2020 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)
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