THE average UK motor retailer made a profit of £2,900 in December 2018, according to figures published today by ASE Global.
Acknowledging that it wasn’t a massive outperformance when compared against the £400 loss of December 2017, the industry experts said it showed the stability of the current market and how retailers had switched their focus to make the most of current opportunities.
Mike Jones, chairman of the dealer profitability specialist, said: ‘Given all the turmoil we have seen in 2018, this is a very creditable result.’
He added: ‘Whilst the overall picture remains relatively healthy, we continue to see significant variation between franchises and retailers. Some brands didn’t manage to catch up all of their delayed WLTP sales during December, with this hangover continuing into 2019. Others have fared well and are prospering with their electric offerings and lack of reliance on diesel.
‘It’s a really good job that the UK motor retail sector copes well with shocks and change, as this state seems set to continue into 2019. In response to the impending Brexit deadline, we have seen some brands attempt to ramp up sales, with others taking a more cautious approach.
‘As we move into the remainder of the year, new car sales will clearly be impacted by the trade deal struck, assuming the period of uncertainty isn’t prolonged through extensions to or the cancelling of Article 50.
‘One thing is for sure – UK motor retailers will find a way to adjust their business model to react to the wider political factors to ensure they remain profitable.’