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Interest in ecommerce goes up but consumer demand declines, reports Cox Automotive

Interest in ecommerce goes up but consumer demand declines, reports Cox Automotive

DEALERS and manufacturers are showing an increasing appetite for ecommerce.

That’s according to Cox Automotive – one of the headline partners for CDX 2019 – in its Market Insight Overview for March, published today. The global business, whose brands include Manheim, Dealer-Auction.com, Modix and NextGear Capital, also reported growing demand for advanced vehicle imagery products to drive online buyer confidence, as well as dealers investing in pay-per-click advertising to encourage sales as people turned to the online world for their next vehicle.

The average part-exchange price rose by 1.7 per cent in March to £4,150, while the average age increased by 2.6 per cent to 87 months.

Philip Nothard, pictured, Cox’s director of customer insight and strategy for the UK, said: ‘Two-thirds of respondents in the March monthly market survey reported a decline in consumer demand, whilst half cited that retained margins remained similar to the same period last year.

‘Challenges continue to face the new car market, as a quarter of dealers indicated an increase in consignment stock. Used car strength produced encouraging results in the March survey, as 76 per cent of dealers reported a decrease in overage and 62 per cent reported a reduction in days in stock.

‘In a time of uncertainty, 30 per cent of dealers remain positive over the economic condition over the coming months whilst 54 per cent reported in the March monthly market survey that they expect it to decline. Nearly half are optimistic that sourcing stock will improve.’

As regards the outlook for the wholesale sector, Nothard said: ‘Buyers will expect increased transparency to drive stock confidence, leading to more detailed vehicle descriptions and assurance checks.’ Turning to the funding market, he added: ‘A strong appetite for growth means cash flow remains a priority for dealers. An increased focus on digital integration is helping dealers to purchase stock hassle-free from a variety of sources. Ease and flexibility remains key for dealers.’

The sample size for the monthly market survey was circa 200 to 250 industry contacts ranging from sales managers to managing directors of groups, independent dealerships and car supermarkets.

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