A dealership well equipped for millennial car buyers has mobile apps, young or young-thinking salespeople, Internet marketing expertise and showroom tools to convince Gen Y shoppers that they are getting a fair price on their vehicles.
Interestingly, the same tools and practices that work with young shoppers tend to appeal to female car buyers and tech-saavy shoppers of any age, said Mark Rikess, CEO of the Rikess Group, an automotive retail consultancy.
Those shoppers tend to want a no-haggle experience with a salesperson empowered to get them through the process quickly and transparently, Rikess said.
Scott Pitman, whose Suzuki of Wichita is the nation's top-selling Suzuki store, has a 14-person sales staff with an average age of 25.5 years.
So the salespeople understand intrinsically the importance of gadgets to shoppers, especially young people, and the benefits of seeking customer reviews to boost the dealership's presence on social media and crucial search engines, such as Google. The young staffers also are easy to train, Pitman said.
As a backstop against the mistakes of youth, though, he said he has one manager for every three or four salespeople, a fairly high ratio, to close deals. Pitman's dealership sold 927 new Suzukis in 2011.