Being a small business owner in the midst of Covid-19 has been one of the hardest things to go through, yet one of the biggest faith builders. Every small business owner will have their own story coming out of 2020. There will be stories of heartache, closures and disaster while others will experience growth and expansion that they didn't think possible and then there's so many stories in the middle. Being a part of many small business networks, I hear these stories every day. I feel for them, because I am one of them.
First a little history about Macley Auto Group. When my husband, brother, sister-in-law and I started Macley Auto Group in 2018 we knew it wouldn't be easy because building trust as a new dealership takes time. In our first two years our country faced "out of the ordinary" hard times. There were contentious elections, government shut downs, and just a lot of general unrest in our state and nation. We kept pushing through knowing we just needed to get our name out there and prove we were different. When we hit our two-year mark in March of 2020 it was like a switch flipped. We were suddenly getting lots of leads, people knew who we were, for about two weeks things were exciting ... then Covid-19 hit.
Covid-19 hit the auto industry harder than most realize. Yes, auto sales are considered an essential business. We could technically be open to serve the public. However, so much of what we need to conduct business was closed; DEQ was closed, most DMV offices were closed, and most of our supply chain was shut down. So, doing business was difficult to say the least and it sti II is. Here is a snapshot of what is happening now.
The auto industry will take time to recover. As many know the US auto manufacturers shut down auto manufacturing to make ventilators while imports were and are taking more time to enter the country. This has caused a shortage in new vehicles, which means less trade-in's, meaning less used cars at auction and in the wholesale market, causing shortages across the board. Pricing in the wholesale market has skyrocketed and that gets passed to the consumer. This shortage will be around for a good six months to a year at least. Dealers like us don't want to pass those higher prices onto our customers, so we are looking at other ways to buy our autos to keep our prices down while keeping quality up.
We have people contact us regularly to find them a specific auto, we in turn look through all avenues to source that auto at the best price and quality for them: auction, wholesale, and private party. We have found that buying from private parties is providing us with higher quality vehicles. We are now expanding this buying program. This, along with our consignment program offers our customers an easy way to sell their vehicles without having to waste their time or meet up with strangers. At Macley Auto Group we know that 2020 and all that it has to offer is only one year (though it may feel like many rolled into one). All the good and the bad will come to pass and what we are left with is how we weathered it, what we learned, and how we grew. Our hope and prayer are that when we make it through, we learned a lot about community, the people we serve, and that we grew in ways that made us stronger. Stay safe, stay healthy and if we can help you in any of your auto buying, selling or consigning needs give us a call at 503-430-1762 or visit our website at www.macleyauto.com. (Written August 2020- Parish Neighbors of Cedar Mill Magazine)