Car dealers are confident their businesses will survive the pandemic but aware of looming threats

Time 1 year ago

New research has shown that 95 per cent of car dealers are confident their business will survive the impact of Covid-19, with 55 per cent saying that they are ‘completely confident’ of survival. 

The survey, which was conducted in June as showrooms reopened by Close Brothers Motor Finance, shows a much stronger feeling in the industry compared to UK businesses on the whole.

The figure is a significant increase on the BVA BORC’s business sentiment tracker in the same month, which showed just 69 per cent of businesses were confident that they would survive the pandemic.


The biggest opportunities highlighted by dealers surveyed were demand for used vehicles, opportunities from reduced demand for public transport and maintaining stability of business.

However, dealers are still worried about threats to their businesses looming on the horizon. The biggest worry for 29 per cent of those surveyed was about economic downturn, while 23 per cent were more focussed on the industry specific issue of stock availability.

Meanwhile, 13 per cent are worried about a second wave of Coronavirus and 10 per cent are concerned about a reduction in sales or footfall.

Seán Kemple, managing director at Close Brothers Motor Finance, commented: ‘The motor industry has navigated through several tough years with Brexit, the economic downturn, uncertainty around fuel type, as well as changing regulations.

‘2020 has brought new unprecedented challenges with Covid-19 and the UK-wide lockdown but the motor industry is resilient and will continue to navigate through this difficult period.

‘Although there are clearly bumps in the road ahead for dealers, there’s also scope to build back better. Dealers are confident their business can survive the impact of Covid-19 and we’re already seeing strong indicators of growth.

‘Used dealerships have seen a surge in demand and this will likely continue in the months ahead as buyers tighten budgets and are still reticent to taking public transport.

‘Dealers need to keep their fingers on the pulse and be prepared to adapt their stock and sales strategy to meet consumers’ evolving needs.’

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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