The only restriction on sales will be lack of used stock. As dealers have been shut for over three months the level of part exchanges coming into the market will take a while to improve. Some manufacturers are reporting long lead times on new cars which may not start to ease until the autumn which will cause fleets to extend their replacement cycles, which will further restrict used stock entering the market.
With millions furloughed and many more forced to work from home during the pandemic, the demand for cars plummeted. But as most of us look to return to work, the need for a car is on the rise. Demand is expected to be felt the most in Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber, the two regions with the highest number of Brits expected to change their vehicle in the next 12 months (23% vs 22%).
LEASING & FINANCE
The consumer new car finance market reported a fall in new business volumes of 34% in February compared with the same month in 2020. The percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members in the twelve months to February 2021 was 92.8%.
Review and update your online finance promotional activity to ensure you have a competitively priced proposition ready to capture car buyers interest as they shop around online – being conscious of financial promotion requirements
AFTERMARKET & WORKSHOP
Bumper, the new name for Auto Service Finance, polled the views of 2,635 car owners during the latest lockdown and found customers concerned about being presented with expensive bills, especially for work deferred by the pandemic.
Aftersales departments need to be on top of their digital game, and that means capturing and retaining accurate data on MOT and service due dates, securing contact permissions, and then scheduling timely reminders.
Data indicates that, as per 2020, based on an annual used car market of 6.75 million sales, the industry could save £9.5 billion each year. Even a more conservative approach, based on a phased 30% transition to greater online selling, the sector could save £4.7 billion.
With only 40% of us going as far as actually visiting a manufacturer’s website during our purchase journey, carmakers can no longer rely on people going to their brand, instead the brand must actively engage them first. In other words, the mountain must move to meet the customer on their turf – most likely on ecosystems such as Facebook or Amazon.
Rabbetts started his career in 2001 as a trainee with Cambridge Garage Volvo and was headhunted a year later by White Rose Volkswagen in Petersfield. By 2011 he was General Sales Manager, running split sites for both its new and used vehicles.
A veteran of the company, Hall started working at Lookers as a trainee assistant in the VAG Oldham showroom and was recently working as a Franchise Director. He will head up the group’s strategy on electric vehicles and sustainability.