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

Time 10 months 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.

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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.

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

James Batchelor

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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