Dealers now have free access to What Car?’s online New Car Buying platform and lead management service until the end of September.
The offer was initially available from April until the end of June, as reported by Car Dealer, but with showrooms possibly reopening on June 1, What Car? said the latest move was part of its continued effort to help the industry recover from the Covid-19 pandemic slump.
The platform allows access to its in-market audience of new car prospects – and according to What Car?’s latest consumer insights, more than a third intend to buy within four weeks.
It said more than 750 dealerships had already signed up to the offer, with another 250 in the pipeline. Among the users are Ford Retail, JCT 600, Hendy Group, Marshall Motor Group, Snows, Vertu Motors, Vindis and Waylands Automotive. The offer is open to all retail and OEM operations in the UK, with no tie-in period for new users.
Rachael Prasher, pictured, managing director of publisher Haymarket Automotive, said: ‘Leads will be the lifeblood of a recovering industry and a thriving marketplace means a thriving car industry.
‘Whatever the shape of the return is in the coming months, we understand that our business will only bounce back if the automotive industry does the same. Giving free access to our new car inquiries is one way in which we can help.
‘Our market intelligence suggests that more than a third of in-market buyers intend to buy within four weeks, with many significantly advanced in their research.
‘Already in the past few weeks we have seen a significant spike in users of New Car Buying, taking inquiries back to the levels of early March.’
However, she said dealers looking to sign up should give fast and informed responses to inquiries, as polling by What Car? suggested that a third of prospective new car buyers didn’t want to wait more than four weeks to get their new car. Meanwhile, 68 per cent wanted to buy in person, but respecting social distancing measures.
‘The first wave of customers are likely to be the most qualified and ready to buy that the industry has seen in a generation,’ said Prasher. ‘They are going to be impatient too. How they are managed from the first call is going to be more critical than ever to turning interest into sales.’
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