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Cox Automotive Q1 2018 Dealer Sentiment Index

Dealers upbeat ahead of spring sales time

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Article Highlights

  1. Dealers, always an optimistic group, are supremely optimistic heading into the spring selling season. Federal tax changes appear to be the main reason.
  2. The results from a first-quarter survey of dealers "blew me away," said Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive's chief economist and architect of the survey.
  3. [Dealers] views of the market over the next three months went through the roof: to 73 from 57 in the third and fourth quarters of 2017.

Dealers, always an optimistic group, are supremely optimistic heading into the spring selling season. Federal tax changes appear to be the main reason.

Those are some of the conclusions from the latest quarterly Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index, released today, March 19.

The results from a first-quarter survey of dealers “blew me away,” said Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive’s chief economist and architect of the survey.

“I’m almost a little bit worried, actually, at that level of optimism,” he said. “It’s borderline euphoric.”

The survey is the equivalent of a consumer confidence index, showing how U.S. dealers feel about the current retail market and prospects for the next 90 days. It identifies which factors are most significant in driving dealers’ optimism or pessimism, as well as variations by region.

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