AN anticipation of falling new car sales and a heavy focus on used cars helped Marshall Motor Group record profit growth in a struggling market last year.
That was the analysis of the firm’s boss Daksh Gupta after the company revealed a ‘stellar’ set of financial results for 2018 yesterday.
Marshall’s expectations of the new car market declining – with WLTP and falling diesel sales being to blame, according to Gupta – led the dealer group to put a stronger focus on its used car operations.
Speaking to Car Dealer Magazine, CEO Gupta said: ‘Because we anticipated that decline of new car sales, we heavily focused on our used models, and the technology used to sell them.
‘We had our own bespoke system built in April last year that enables us to manage used sales, and has the ability to look at pricing across the UK as a whole. This gives us the opportunity to price our cars competitively, which helps drive stock turnover and improve transparency, which, all in all, is great news.’
This focus saw the group record a rise of 2.3 per cent in like-for-like used sales, while like-for-like new sales fell by 8.4 per cent.
Gupta added that he was expecting the first quarter of 2019 to be positive and see a rise in new car sales, although he said the rest of the year was ‘too difficult to call’ given continuing uncertainty in Westminster.
Finally, the Marshall boss added: ‘I am absolutely delighted [by our results].
‘It’s a fantastic set of numbers, and represents our fourth consecutive year of growth. It’s a very good and credible performance in a very challenging car market affected by WLTP and diesel, so overall I’m very pleased.’