In this year’s 36th Annual Dealer Survey, 73% of our dealers told us their business was down in 2020.
Does this number shock you?
Honestly, you probably weren’t shocked. We weren’t either. Like you, we expected a higher percentage. In fact, in our Survey’s history, that figure is an all-time high as our industry, country, and global community grappled with the pandemic. For the record, the percentage of dealers who report their revenues down from the previous year has historically been well under 20%.
That’s enough Survey spoilers for now. To learn more, turn to page 33. As always, there’s a lot of fascinating data, but based on the events of 2020, this year’s Survey and subsequent ones will reveal not only the impact of the pandemic but also the recovery in the channel as our industry comes back into balance with some semblance of “normal.”
Though the pandemic persists as I write this column, it seems as if many businesses and the channel have adjusted, and business continues to pick up despite the backorder situation. The latter is a problem that many dealers are lamenting. There is no fast and easy solution, and hopefully, by early next year, it will work itself out. Until then, it will continue to impact the channel.
If you read my online article with Reed Melnick, president of PopSmart Technologies in Farmers Branch, Texas, you know his no-holds-barred observations on how backorders are impacting his dealership and his suggestions for OEMs, at least his OEM, to address and correct this problem. Based on what Melnick shared with me, what we have is a failure to communicate on the part of his OEM. Last I heard from Melnick, communications with his OEM have improved since we published that interview. If there’s any lesson here, it’s that dealers should speak up.
As we wind our way down toward the end of the year, we are furiously planning for next year and the stories we will cover in our print edition and online. If you have suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com. Your voice is important to us. As we note in the introduction to our Survey, we strive to be the voice of the dealer. Because of this commitment, we encourage you to speak up rather than waiting until it’s time to fill out the annual Survey to let your voice be heard.
Access Related Content