Car dealers lost £18,000 on average in February, reports ASE

Time 10:33 am, April 11, 2018

UK CAR dealers recorded average losses of £18,000 in February 2018 – a £4,000 increase year-on-year.

The figures, which come from automotive profitability specialists ASE, show a continued trend of rising mid-quarter month losses, meaning the gains made in January have been reversed, leaving the average dealer £2,000 behind in terms of year-to-date profits.

The organisation attributes the downward trend to deterioration in new car profitability. The full bonus earnings won’t be revealed until the March results come out, but low new vehicles sales volumes have had a negative effect on profitability in February.

Motor retail profitability statistics for February 2018. Source: ASE

The used car market remains healthy, with strong levels of return on investment. Although dealers are, on average, running with higher levels of stock than they’d like, the pressure is being well managed and turnaround isn’t too low, says ASE. This means used cars are a lucrative profit stream in the face of a struggling new car market.

Despite key service ratios all deteriorating slightly over the past year, aftersales have continued to grow in profitability. Capacity is on the rise to keep up with the increasing vehicle parc, letting dealers step up their vehicle health check upselling.

The overall outlook for 2018 depends heavily on the first quarter’s performance. New vehicle registrations have been down, with the majority of the downturn happening at the end of March. ASE said it hoped this would mean lower self-registrations, with less of an impact on overall profit generation.

MORE: Now it’s a year of decline as March shows a 15 per cent fall in new car registrations

MORE: ASE’s profitability figures reveal a positive January for dealers

MORE: Dealers heading into a spell of reduced profitability, says ASE

On Glyn Hopkin halves servicing lead times with £420,000 aftersales workshop

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