Motor retail group JCT600 says last week was its busiest for used car sales in the company’s 74-year history.
Having spent 10 weeks in lockdown, the Yorkshire-based family-run business said there was a 21 per cent rise across its 48 dealerships compared with the same week in 2019.
It declined to give figures but said it was also a record-breaking week for sales inquiries, which rose by 177 per cent year on year. JCT600 said phone and digital inquiries were the highest it had ever experienced in one week.
Chief executive John Tordoff, pictured, said: ‘After two and a half months of dealerships being closed, there’s obviously a huge pent-up demand from customers wanting to change their cars.
‘While it’s been a frustrating period for us, our team and our customers, health and safety has, of course, to be the priority and we now have measures in place to make sure our showrooms are as safe as possible.’
The company said web traffic also doubled versus the level during lockdown with people spending longer on its website and viewing more pages than before.
JCT600, which has showrooms across Yorkshire and the north-east of England, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, is limiting showroom visitor numbers for safe social distancing, using an appointment-only system.
Customers follow a flow system, plus there is intensive cleaning of all high-contact areas. Hand sanitising stations have been put in for staff and customers too. In addition, every vehicle is sanitised, sealed and quarantined before customers interact with them, and all customer areas are sanitised after every use.
JCT600 has increased its digital processes as well, including offering online reservations, virtual test drives, video calls, 100 per cent paperless administration, and home delivery services.
Tordoff said: ‘We have spent the last ten weeks preparing for the safe reopening of our dealerships and we’re confident that we can deliver a flexible experience for all of our customers.
‘We’ve also worked hard to keep our team informed throughout the period and ensure that returning colleagues are trained on all standards, processes and systems before they walk through the showroom door.
‘We expected to be busy, but the last ten days have been phenomenal.
‘On Monday 8th June, we recorded the highest number of sales inquiries into the business we’ve ever had – quite an achievement for a business as long-established as ours!’
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