FRANCHISED workshops face a loss of up to £300m over the next 12 months as a result of the continued slowdown in new car sales, according to leading MOT and servicing booking site, BookMyGarage.com.
The market has already recorded 620,000 fewer sales than last year, and with those sales gone it’s the workshops that are now going to be hit as annual servicing and warranty work disappears, said Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com.
Dealers need to fill the void by proactively attracting lapsed and new customers. Former Stratstone and Lookers Aftersales Director, and SecretService ambassador, Gavin Ruddick, added: “Segment 1 customer visits are predicted to be down 35% by the end of 2021. That represents a significant reduction for AM100 dealership groups delivering an operating margin of above 40%.
“A lack of action to replace these transactions is not an option as this will come at a cost for Authorised Repairers, who must now access and unlock the potential from 3+ vehicles currently dominated by fast-fits and independents.”
Due to historic sales successes and subsequent new car market growth, Authorised Repairer capacity over recent years has been highly absorbed by our enlarged 0-3 parc, which in turn means our sector is traditionally poor (losing a higher percentage than we retain) at penetrating that space and holding onto it.
That’s why the anonymised Secret Service offering powered by BookMyGarage is working extremely well as consumers are able to compare like-for-like without devaluing the brand, influencing consumer perception positively, and allowing customers to book directly into retailer’s available diary capacity in real time (franchise dms permitting).
Since March, when the COVID-19 crisis began, 75% of vehicle registration look-ups on BookMyGarage’s system were for Segment 2 and 3 vehicles with SecretService dealers now securing more than a third of those bookings in their area.
Moreover, these slightly older vehicles generate invoice values 80% higher than the booking value with Final Invoice Values (FIV) 13% higher than the normal dealership average.