Long Beach is among the most active and diverse cities in the world. The second-largest in the most populous county in the U.S., it is home to world-renown attractions such as the Queen Mary, the Aquarium, Shoreline Drive, and the annual Grand Prix race. There are so many water-based activities that you can engage in, making Long Beach an amazing place. It is both a wonderful city to live in and a great spot for tourists from all around the world to explore and enjoy.
As many people are also aware, the Southern California auto market is the largest in the world. With so many people and so much space, the area has developed the strongest car-centric culture of anywhere in the United States. Southern California is a place where many people understand the importance of being aware of our impact on the environment. The heavy pollution has affected Long Beach. Those two dynamics create a very strong used car marketplace that we are very happy to be a part of within our community. We believe Long Beach is an ideal place to buy a used car. Providing transportation for people at an affordable investment (relative to buying a brand-new car that loses value quickly), is one we have been proud of for a long time.
From a historical perspective, starting in the 1950s (with bands such as The Beach Boys), the car-oriented lifestyle has really become synonymous with Southern California. As our area has expanded over the past 50 years and many cities surrounding Long Beach have also grown, the used car marketplace has exploded as well. Many folks have experienced memorable events in their cars, from drive-in theatres to Lovers Lane, to drive-up restaurants where girls on skates would bring your hamburger and milkshake right out to your vehicle. So, our cars are such a big part of our identity in this country and in the Long Beach community in particular. Who hasn’t heard of Cal Worthington and his dog spot!
Our cars carry such indelible memories for us as we go through life. I remember my first car when I started driving in the mid-1980s (a 1973 Chevy Vega) very well. As a young driver, I also remember someone smashed into the driver’s side of the car not long after I started driving (my fault). My next used car was a classic 1966 VW Bug. I learned to drive a manual (“stickshift”) transmission on – a skill I still carry to this day and one I know my kids will never have to learn. I also remember riding as a passenger in my family’s 1975 Buick. We drove from our home in San Diego to Tucson, AZ to visit my grandparents in the 1970s. We did it without air conditioning, so needless to say we kept the windows all the way down the vast majority of the time and could hardly hear each other talk!
As the industry itself has evolved over the past 40 years in the area, the Port of Long Beach itself has also become among the busiest in the world. It is a key point of entry for new vehicles coming into the area. But as a result, it’s also a source of pollution in the region as well. We believe a focus from car buyers on the excellent range of used options in the marketplace helps to reduce pollution in the region. If fewer new vehicles are brought through the Port of Long Beach then the associated impact on the environment is reduced. Furthermore, the port itself is often right at or even over its capacity, so a reduction in new vehicles coming into the area will help to alleviate some of the challenges as well. Also, given how quickly new cars depreciate, the financial benefits of used cars are significant as well. You can generally get much more value from your hard-earned cash for a quality used vehicle that something brand new. New cars lose a big chunk of its value as soon as it’s driven off the lot! These are just a few of the reasons we are proud to be involved in the used vehicle market in Long Beach.
In fact, overall, we are seeing a trend within many dealerships to focus more of their inventory on used vehicles as well. In addition to being good for the consumer because so much of a car’s value depreciates in the first couple of years after it is produced, used vehicles are also good for dealers. There is still a profit margin for them as well. That is an often-over-looked part of the industry – which is that the dealers themselves must be able to achieve a reasonable profit margin to fund their operations and continue to service their customers. So many dealers who do carry new cars are investing more heavily in used car options than they may have in the past. The price point of these options appeals to a higher percentage of the car buyer marketplace and improve the dealer’s bottom-line financial results as well. This aspect of the used car industry helps enable small businesses in the marketplace to survive more efficiently as well. And we all benefit from that.
Technology is also changing the industry – as it is every other part of the global economy – and there are a lot of good things associated with that evolution. We continue to believe, however, in the power of the human connection that goes into buying a used car. That interaction is even more important in the case of a used car because it’s crucial that the salesperson has a solid understanding of the history of the vehicle. This person knows about the features and capabilities of the car since those pieces are constantly changing as well. When you find a used car that you like, you also want the buying experience to be a very good one. It will stay with you for the entire length of time that you have the car and beyond. If you have a positive experience with the dealership and the salesperson and feel they have been honest and transparent, it makes a big difference. When you feel they have provided you a fair deal on the used car and a smooth transaction, you will be much more likely to return to that dealership in the future. I am sure you would have no problem recommending that business to your friends and family.
We are firm believers in the idea that our cars play such a big role in our lives here in greater Long Beach. Both the product – the used car itself – and the overall experience of purchasing it – have a lasting impact on our communities. That is why Long Beach is an ideal place to buy a used car. We are very happy to play a role in that experience for many people in our area.