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Heavisides: Let’s all make the most of this new upturn

Time 3:13 pm, September 18, 2013

084850200_1258711503AT the risk of encouraging an outbreak of optimism, September seems to be showing all the signs of being another fantastic month for new car registrations.

Plate-change time has always held a strong allure for buyers and dealers seem to have been making the most of the upturn in consumer confidence with strong retail offers, backed by manufacturer incentives and great new cars.

The SMMT confidently expects September’s 63- plate sales to pass 400,000 units as the market heads towards 2.2m new car registrations for 2013.

It’s all very encouraging and very welcome after what feels like an age in the doldrums.

Of course, the benefits of a strong new car market are felt in the used car sector too, and the AA suggests that over 1.2m pre-owned cars will be retailed in the next three months as part-exchange vehicles are turned around for sale and new streams of customers are encouraged into dealerships.

That’s a colossal opportunity for dealers to capitalise on, so let’s make the most of it.

If market conditions taught us anything through the credit crunch, it was to make the most of whatever footfall comes through the door.

We haven’t seen the demise of dealers on the scale originally forecast in 2008 because dealers adapted their business processes to the conditions; now that volumes are picking up again, we need to make sure we continue to focus on selling more than just the car. When customers come into showrooms, they see that the car market has moved with the times and that dealers offer a complete motoring proposition, rather than just metalwork.

Dealers can turn buyers into customers by bringing them back for servicing, parts, warranty, tyres, cosmetic repairs and their next new or used car.

Retailers have a complete arsenal of products at their disposal to meet every need — as sale volumes pick up, let’s not forget what a great benefit they are to everyone.

Especially the customer.


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