The Importance of Market Intelligence
WOULD YOU WALK INTO the first car dealership you saw, with cash in hand, and buy a car without doing any research whatsoever? Of course not. When people purchase new cars, they typically start with determining their wants and needs. Next, they browse manufacturer and third-party websites to create a long list of potential suppliers of vehicles that suit their needs. Smart buyers then work their options down to a short list by doing further research, reviewing reliability studies, checking resale value, and even trying to time their purchases so that they coincide with manufacturer or dealer promotions. For quality information, shoppers browse auto websites; read magazines such as Consumer Reports, Motor Trend, and Car and Driver; research the results of award companies such as JD Powers; and review the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash reports.
Car buyers also realize that answers to other questions have a bearing on their decisions, such as:
- What is the resale value of my trade-in? Is it worth my time to sell it privately, or do I take a small loss and save a headache by simply selling it to the dealer?
- What financing options are available to me? What is the manufacturer offering? What is the dealer offering, and through which banks? Could I get a better deal through a credit union? Could I use a home equity loan, or should I use cash?
- Should I lease or buy?
- Should I consider a relatively recent used car, ...