Don’t miss out on sales opportunities during lockdown, What Car? urges dealers

Time 2 years ago

Dealers in full lockdown because of coronavirus are losing sales opportunities and are in danger of having to play catch-up when the market steadies again.

That’s the warning from What Car? managing director Rachael Prasher, who said that market analysis by the publication revealed that only around 40 per cent of dealers out of a cross-section of 650 franchised dealers had had an active lead management service during the past week.

‘The natural market for buyers has understandably disappeared but there are consumers still looking and wanting to engage with retailers,’ said Prasher, pictured. ‘Those inquiries still need to be fulfilled or, more importantly, nurtured so that there is a pipeline for sales when business opens again.’

Earlier this week, trade body the SMMT announced that registrations for last month were down by 44.4 per cent on March 2019. It also downgraded its 2020 forecast to 1.73 million units – more than 2.31 million vehicles were sold in 2019.

Customers who are getting responses from dealers at the moment are more likely to engage with them than ever – even before the pandemic, said the Haymarket Consumer Media-owned magazine and website.

Prasher added: ‘This week’s forecast means 1.25 million cars will still be bought between now and the end of the year. Statistically and anecdotally, we know dealers who are still open for business are doing business and laying the foundations for the months ahead.’

And  What Car?’s audience research has shown that the proportion of shoppers merely wanting to ‘try and buy’ rather than prevaricate when dealership doors reopen again is ‘significantly high’.

‘This may not be a time for sell, sell, sell, but it is also not a time for complete silence,’ said Prasher. ‘The consumers who are out there are highly likely to buy – now, or as soon as they can – if they can find a retailer who is able to engage with them.’

Access to What Car?’s New Car Buying platform is free to dealers and OEMs until the end of June.

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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