THE VAST majority of car dealers are feeling confident about their business prospects in 2018, according to new research.
The Dealer Satisfaction Survey, which is conducted by Close Brothers Motor Finance and samples 200 new and used UK car dealerships, showed that 92 per cent of car dealers are feeling confident about the year ahead. This figure is 63 per cent higher than last year’s.
The survey was taken between August and October 2016 and asked dealers about their business performance, their prospects for the year ahead and what they think are the biggest challenges and opportunities for their business.
The results showed that 14 per cent think maintaining stability will be the biggest opportunity for 2018, while another 14 per cent think it will be expanding what types of vehicles their business offers to customers.
A further 10 per cent said they see the increase in the number of finance products available as the biggest opportunity, and nine per cent said it will be changes in consumer behaviour.
However, 21 per cent of dealers said that Brexit will be the biggest threat to their business prospects in 2018 while four per cent of those surveyed said that the UK leaving the EU will be the greatest opportunity of the year.
There were other political factors that dealers saw as threats to their business, with 17 per cent identifying economic downturn as the biggest and 11 per cent pointing the finger at legislation and regulation.
Chris Bosworth, director of strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, commented: ‘Our quarterly Dealer Satisfaction Survey is a granular look at the current sentiment of dealers in the UK, and provides us with real insight into current and future priorities of dealers nationwide.
‘With technology evolving, consumer behaviour changing, and the heightened political and economic uncertainty since the Brexit vote last year, it’s positive that dealers are feeling confident for the year ahead. It’s interesting that dealers cite the expansion of the new types of vehicles on offer as one of the biggest opportunities for their businesses.
‘The government’s decision to tackle pollution by imposing a ban on all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 has already had a meaningful impact on motorists buying behaviour. Since the announcement last summer, the SMMT has reported consecutive decreases in the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles whilst renewable energy vehicles have grown in popularity month on month.
‘With consumer support for these vehicles ever growing, it is essential that dealers maintain and grow their understanding of this market and have the right cars on their forecourts.’