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Car Dealer Podcast: Wessex Garages Chris Wiseman on new 22-plate, changing consumer buying habits and supply issues

  • Wessex Garages MD Chris Wiseman chats with the Car Dealer team about supply issues, a very different plate change month and more
  • He explains how his business is coping with the shortages and managing customer expectations
  • You can listen to the podcast now Apple Podcasts, Spotify and more

Time 3:26 pm, March 8, 2022

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. 

You can listen now to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more, or by clicking play below.

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. 

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‘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.

If you’d like to join us on the Car Dealer Podcast you can contact us on [email protected].

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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