UNPRECEDENTED numbers of buyers are looking to the private market, rather than to dealers, for their next car.
This is a trend that’s a growing problem for the industry, warns Exchange & Mart – and yet another consequence of the credit crunch.
The private market is now by far the preferred channel for car buyers. And it is the size of the shift towards private that’s ringing alarm bells for Exchange & Mart’s digital director, Debra Healy.
‘Consumers have long believed they may get a better price if they sell their car privately, but the increase in those looking to buy in this marketplace indicates that more and more consumers have a perception that better deals are available privately.’
Dealers should therefore play to their strengths to see them through tough conditions.
‘Price is always a major consideration in buying and selling decisions, but it isn’t the only factor. Dealers have always offered long-term value for money, through a range of packages that cover the consumer in all eventualities.
‘This unique strength is one the private market cannot match.
‘The key to coming through tough times is having the confidence to stick to what dealers do best, and not get sidetracked into an ultimately destructive price war to take on the private market.’
If dealers exceed customer expectations, she adds, they’ll go a long way to rebuilding shattered consumer confidence, which could be decisive in the current climate.