This led to a significant decline in the rolling 12-month return-on-sales ratio which has fallen to its lowest level in over a year, according to the latest figures from automotive solutions ASE, a provider of advice and services to the motor industry.
Given the official registration statistics for January showed a growth of 6.7 per cent on January 2014, there is clear evidence of an increase in self-registered vehicles in the figures, says the company.
Used vehicle volumes performed slightly better than new, being marginally up on January 2014. However, growth profit was down at 10.5 per cent, its lowest level in recent years. This was a result of high average stand in values and profit per unit falling below £1,000.
ASE says it is ‘very concerned’ about the impact self-registered cars are having on used-car stock profiles with the average stand in values rising in January as the cars registered in September 2014 were added to the mainstream stock available for sale.
Service hours were static in January albeit with a further improvement in overall efficiency.
A key indicator to dealerships’ 2015 financial results will be performance in the pivotal first quarter. ASE says that while the UK will show an increased level of registrations, it as though that will be through fleet and self registrations and therefore at the expense of profit.
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