Plate change month has arrived but it’s looking a lot different out there for franchised dealers as supply issues continue to hamper deliveries to customers.
Chris Wiseman told Wessex Garages 22-plate story on the latest episode of the Car Dealer Podcast, explaining that there had been no midnight handovers for them and instead they would be delivering cars as they arrive throughout the month.
‘I think it’s been a lot quieter than we’d normally expect it to be, mainly because we’ve been delivering all of the way through February as well,’ he said.
‘I saw your stats on the new car reg in February and that kind of says it all, while it was down on pre-pandemic it was up on last year. We’ve seen people wanting to take delivery of their cars nearly as soon as they get them in.’
Each week on the Car Dealer Podcast the team talks about the news of the week with an industry guest. On the show this week we also chat to Wiseman about changing consumer buying habits, should car dealer groups pay back furlough and used car prices.
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Wiseman added: ‘We didn’t see that pent up ‘let’s get it out on March 1’ but we haven’t got all of the cars at the moment and we’re going to be delivering right the way through the month.’
This continues to be a daily issue, with the Wessex Garage MD explaining that supply ‘absorbs most of my time during the week, trying to figure out what’s happening and what effect that will have on the month’s results’.
He said: ‘We went into January with about 56 per cent of our order in the bag for the quarter and we thought that looks great. I warned my guys that by March we could still be sitting on 56 per cent of our order bank, but in reality we’re probably at around 65 per cent.’
Wiseman added that it’s not getting any easier for car dealers who are having to explain the delays to customers. He recently produced a video explaining to customers the latest new car supply situation and said that his team are constantly calling buyers with updates or no updates about their new car.
‘We’re also the ones telling the customers that we can’t guarantee that the delivery date we’ve giving them is going to be the right delivery date,’ he explained. ‘It might move, it could move on a daily basis. Logistics, Ukraine issues, supply chains – all of these things could move it.
‘The customer looks at us and thinks we’re the expert and we should have that information readily to hand, and quite often we don’t. I think there’s a job for the manufacturers and OEMs, as much as anything else, to put a message of education out there because the press unfortunately vilifies us as an industry.’
Find out more about all of the stories mentioned by clicking below.
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- Ford CEO committed to car dealers for the long term as he takes aim at Tesla
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- Cargo ship carrying Porsche and Bentleys sinks in mid-Atlantic after catastrophic fire
- Dealer group Vertu Motors upgrades pre-tax profit forecast to at least £75m but sees new and used car sales drop
- First 22 plate vehicles roll off the forecourts in huge day for new car industry
- Cyberattack at supplier is suspected as Toyota announces halt to production at all factories in Japan
- Investigation: Will crazy used car prices last in 2022? Why have used car prices gone up?
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