Five ways dealers can survive the coronavirus crisis

Time 2:56 pm, March 25, 2020

AUTOMOTIVE insight specialists Cazana have put together a ‘Dealer Survival Guide’ to help car sales businesses through the coronavirus outbreak.

The guide has been put together by Rupert Pontin, director of insight at the company, and includes five key points that he says businesses should be addressing.

Stay safe

Follow government rules and close your dealership to protect your staff and customers. Certain circumstances permit service departments to remain open to help key workers so, where this is absolutely necessary, make sure you maintain social distancing. Remember that the government has promised support for the economy and specifically for the automotive industry, so find out how they will help your business through this unprecedented national emergency.

Plan ahead

With a compulsory shutdown, formulate a strategy for the coming months. Consumer buying patterns will change and social distancing is likely to require different operational procedures to keep businesses running and the economy moving. Make sure you are ready for when the lockdown is lifted. Concentrate on your online presence and online selling capability.

Keep in touch with your customers

Right now, there are millions of people who are trapped at home and in some cases unable to work. The need for something to do is going to increase and many will turn to the internet to keep themselves occupied. People will be looking for something to reward themselves with after the pandemic such as a holiday, leisure goods or maybe a new car.

Make sure you are tailoring your digital marketing and social media messaging to stay in front of those past and future customers with messages of support, hope and deals for the post-lockdown market.

Keep pricing competitive

With showrooms closed, your shop window is the internet. Sales will have stopped but the market will come back and in the interim, it is essential to maintain your shop window and keep your vehicles priced right for the market.

There is no need to slash pricing as there is no stock to replace what you have and when the lockdown ends used car supply will take several weeks to recover as supply chains ramp up.

However, there is a need to maintain awareness of how your product is placed in the market and what level pricing will need to be after the lockdown. Keep ahead of the game and be ready.

Use the best insight and pricing data you can

It is vital to use the best and most relevant pricing and insight available to be ready for the new market, says Pontin. The auctions are closed and therefore some data will be based solely on subjective edits. Cazana data is based on what is happening to retail pricing every day direct from the market. A successful business in today’s market needs fact-based insight and pricing.


Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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