Dealers rank health and wellbeing as greatest concern and above cash flow, finds new survey

Time 1 year ago

Dealers have ranked the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers as their greatest concern as ‘normal’ trading returns across the UK, a new survey has found.

Cox Automotive found health and wellbeing of dealership staff and customers was of a more pressing concern than cash flow and a reduction in sales volumes – which were placed in second and third places respectively – while access to capital was rated as dealers’s lowest concern.

Some 79 per cent of dealers said that they are changing their business plan for the balance of 2020 as a direct consequence of Covid-19. When asked if they expect to return a profit, 43 per cent said yes, while a third thought not and 24 per cent are still unsure.

Philip Nothard, customer insight & strategy director at Cox Automotive, said: ‘It’s absolutely right that health is top of this list for dealers as we continue to navigate this global pandemic, but no surprise to see cashflow ranking a close second.

‘Many industry analysts are advising that dealers have a three-month rolling operational budget, which they should revisit as a priority and roll forward a month at a time and this is advice we’d endorse.

‘In this respect, it’s reassuring to see the majority of dealers are adjusting their business plans in light of Covid-19.

‘That two-fifths think they will return a profit this calendar year is also encouraging and is perhaps a higher proportion than many would estimate at this stage, but we mustn’t overlook the fact that a third say they won’t return a profit this year.

‘For some, that will have ramifications for their longer-term viability.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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