Carwow sales director John Miele revealed on Car Dealer Live today (April 16) that more than 1,000 orders had reported by its dealer partners during the lockdown.
Miele joined host James Baggott on Car Dealer Live today (April 16), with managing director Athena Hubble and editorial director Mat Watson, to discuss the trends they’re seeing in Carwow’s European territories of the UK, Spain and Germany.
He explained: ‘In the lockdown period we’ve seen over 1,000 orders reported to us by our partners. That means they’ve taken 1,000 deposits, it doesn’t mean they’ve delivered 1,000 cars.
‘Customers haven’t met the dealers, they haven’t seen the cars and they don’t even know when they’ll be delivered yet.’
The overall picture had been a stark changed when the lockdown hit in the UK, a trend seen across its Spain and Germany too.
Hubble commented: ‘In terms of the initial trends we saw mirrored from our Spanish operation. There was a really sharp descent in audience numbers. In the UK and Germany that number was down in 82 per cent. Pretty sharp in a few days.’
However, it isn’t all bad news for car buying interest in the UK, she explained: ‘Once customers have configured a car, top of the funnel, is down a lot. But the point they’re configuring cars down to enquiry or through to purchase has remained pretty stable. It’s been interesting to have that level of resilience from Carwow users, and a surprise to us.
‘In Germany it’s been interesting that the conversion rate has actually increased slightly.
‘The other factor we’re seeing is a sentiment we’re seeing is people preferring to choose available stock rather than factory order. Probably not a surprise at this time, and we’ve seen a 60 per cent uplift at this time across the site.’
Miele continued: ‘Some dealers saw it coming and set processes up to handle leads and deliver from home.
‘Most of the dealerships we’re working with are getting themselves set up to manage that lead handling and build their order banks without necessarily carrying through the delivery.’
He added: ‘The positive is the reviews we’re getting now, it’s more than this dealer is great, but the appreciation for the dealers who have helped them get a vehicle is really telling.
‘This is a great opportunity to build strong relationships and show what you can do.’
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