We’ve heard all the stories about supply chain problems and read the quarterly reports from various radio broadcasters reflecting the delays in the auto ad dollar. But how do some of the best local deals in one of America’s largest Latin American markets fare?
Everything is exceptional – but the inventory and profit possibilities have greatly rewritten the ‘normal’.
Bean Automotive Group Marketing Director Alex Sanchez says that, from his Toyota/Lexus perspective, they sell cars as fast as they get them. The problem is the supply. “Things are okay. Dealers are doing well. But when will we have a weekend of 150 cars or a weekend of 200 cars?”
For example, variants of the same car model are limited to the consumer, and for Sanchez that is the biggest frustration.
Danny Sanguily, GM of Miami-based Tropical Chevrolet, says used cars have become his bread and butter. “I don’t think I have a car in the inventory for a year and a half. We’re getting them, but they’re already sold. They come in and go right now. And the crazy thing about today is that used cars are now worth more than new cars. Why? A used car you can get. You can’t get a new car. When will it change? Hmmm…I don’t know, and they may not want it to change because factories are making more money than ever. Why would you want to build a car and leave it in inventory? Either way, today’s dealers are probably experiencing the best years of their lives. Margins are higher. I don’t think we’re complaining.”
Ferny Rodriguez, Ocean Mazda GM, believes he is a unique situation. His car brand has experienced strong growth since 2019. But it became a situation where he agreed to everything that was available. That was the reality of the new car situation for Rodriguez. The used car operation? That may be the main focus for the Mazda dealership serving Miami-Dade County.
Juan Dominguez, president of Speed Advertising, says car dealerships operate in a very different landscape today — a “new normal” that will likely be said here. Take four-wheel drive vehicles, for example. In Miami, there has traditionally been a slight demand for such vehicles. Today they sell because that’s what was sent in from the northeast. Enthusiastic buyers are gearing up for the 2022 models.
With Carolina Patino, Cellphone at Miami’s SBS, who moderated the panel, Sanguily shared that electric vehicles generate a lot of talk, but not much action—at least at Chevrolet. While it’s not a trend in California, Mazda notes at Ocean Sanguily that more Teslas are on the way. But after a short period of time, he sees that people don’t want them anymore. “There’s talk of electric cars,” but Rodriguez is also wary of what some of these car brands are up to.