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Car Dealer Podcast: Why agency sales could be a good move for car dealers and customers

  • Autoguard Group director Ali May-Khalil guest judges on the Car Dealer Podcast this week
  • Topics include Cazoo shares, Lotus’ agency sales and over 65s buying electric cars
  • Listen now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more

Time 7:01 am, January 26, 2022

Plenty of dealers have expressed a distaste for agency sales but one industry boss has said he thinks it will probably be a good thing for many car dealers.

Speaking on the Car Dealer Podcast this week, group commercial director Autoguard Group Ali May-Khalil explained that for customers and dealers he believes it will turn out for the best.

May-Khalil, who joined Autoguard last year when his company Sentience Automotive Solutions became part of the group, has worked in and with dealerships for many years.

He said: ‘I think it’s probably a good thing. I know a lot of people get bent out of shape about it but I think it probably is.

‘I think for the consumer it’s way better. There’s nothing worse than lying on a sun lounger next to someone on holiday and them telling you they paid £500 less than you. It’s the same with cars.

‘I think when they standardise the pricing then dealers can focus on the experience, the consumer experience is enhanced, the pressure is off the dealer to retain margin and leads coming into the business are managed better.

‘I don’t think there’s anything to be feared as long as they understand and own the used car piece around it.’


Each week on the Car Dealer Podcast, we invite an industry guest to discuss the news of the week. May-Khalil joined the week Lotus announced it had completed an agency sales restructure with all 13 UK dealerships.

‘You’re only ever going to sell a vehicle like that with an agency model, let’s be honest, because then you take away the need of the retailer to stress about the deal or the price,’ he explained.

‘When you think about a car like a Lotus it’s not like you’re thinking about it – you buy a Lotus or you don’t buy a Lotus. With an agency model on that sort of vehicle it allows the retailer to focus primarily on the experience. Not margin, not selling it, just saying this is the Emira, giving the customer a fabulous experience and then getting paid for doing it.’

He added: ‘The manufacturer owns the data, owns the journey and I can see why they would do that. Probably less so for the volume brands but having worked for some volume brands in the past, the agency style model where we were given a handling fee for hitting a unit target is nothing new.’

You can listen to what May-Khalil had to say in full by clicking play above or by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and most good podcast platforms.

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During this week’s show we also covered Cazoo’s share price falling, how over 65s are more sustainability conscious, changing van trends and more.

You can find out more about any of the stories mentioned in the show by clicking on the links below.

If you’d like to judge the podcast then get in touch with the team 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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