By: Tim Schmidt

What's Old is New Again

No, I’m not talking about fashion trends of the past rearing their ugly heads again… I’m talking about OEM incentives that are making a resurgence after two pandemic-fueled years of “pay over MSRP or pound sand!” style merchandising. Spring of 2020 through spring of 2022 has been one hell of a time to be in the industry. We’ve seen historically high demand, and proportionately low supply which has produced some of the most profitable years yet for dealers across verticals. However, I believe the writing is on the wall and those times are nearly over for most markets.

As inflation continues to rise, it has set off a series of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, driving the price of borrowing money up significantly for mortgages, auto loans, marine loans, etc. This reduction in purchasing power has already started to put downward pressure on demand for automobiles, boats, motorcycles, and ATVs alike. As a result, we are starting to see OEMs and dealers promoting APR financing offers, dollars off MSRP, lease offers, and more.

Congruently, manufacturers are starting to increase production again which is increasing supply, albeit not nearly to pre-pandemic levels. As a result, we are going to see an increase in available inventory on dealer lots, which will only exacerbate the need to put incentives on inventory to drive demand.

This brings me to the point of this article, which is leaning into how dealers can merchandise these incentives at scale across their locations with beautiful execution. We know from experience that managing truly native incentives pages on a dealership website is time-consuming and clunky. So, it’s commonplace for dealers to have expired offers on their sites, iframed cookie-cutter OEM incentives pages, or worse no incentives pages at all.

The good news is that Octane has built a robust enterprise software Nitro that allows dealers to build and publish beautiful incentives pages in minutes. Not only does this tool save dealership teams time, but it differentiates those dealers from their competitors in the market, alerts them when offers are expiring, and pulls down offers once they’ve expired. We’ve integrated Apple Wallet and Google Wallet so customers can save offers to their mobile devices for future use, and more. If you’d like to get a demo of Nitro, give me a shout!