Chris Smiley of Eden Car Sales is sponsored by First Response Finance, for Richard Pygott, CD 190Chris Smiley of Eden Car Sales is sponsored by First Response Finance, for Richard Pygott, CD 190

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Opinion: Now’s a good time to celebrate dealership successes of the past year

In this sponsored post, First Response digital marketer Richard Pygott says dealerships should reflect on the journey that they’ve taken over the past 12 months and celebrate their achievements

Time 10:54 am, January 8, 2024

Does time really speed up as you age? It certainly feels that way, and in this quieter time of the year, I always find it useful to reflect on the past 12 months and take stock of achievements and lessons learnt.

At First Response Finance, we’ve completed the refurbishment of all our offices, sponsored Eden Car Sales’ Chris Smiley of Restart Racing in the TCR-UK racing series, pictured at top, and launched two new websites – one for consumers and another for our dealer partners.

We also hosted our first annual conference since Covid, and despite challenging trading conditions caused by the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing economic problems, our award-winning service has resulted in fantastic growth for us across the board.


It’s been rewarding but far from easy – hard graft never is – but the fruits of our labour throughout the year have paid off and will continue to do so in the new year.

I’m aware that dealers in the trade have been working tirelessly, too, adapting to a market where used car prices continue to fluctuate, buyer behaviour shifts due to tightened budgets and changes to some of the finance lenders’ criteria have made it tough going for dealers.

Chris Smiley's car, sponsored by First Response Finance, for Richard Pygott, CD 190

Chris Smiley in action on the race circuit

However, the remarkable resilience displayed by those in the motor trade never ceases to amaze me.


It’s this unwavering determination that not only withstands the difficulties but also propels the motor trade forward, and I tip my hat to the whole motor industry.

This is always a good time to reflect on your dealership’s journey over the past 12 months.

There are usually so many good things that just get forgotten or left behind due to the relentless pace of the motor trade, and I would also recommend celebrating those achievements.

If you have any successes that you would like to share, get in touch via our page on LinkedIn and we will happily share them.

As we toast the new year, all of us here at First Response Finance wish you prosperity and a happy 2024!

This is an abridged version of the column that appears in the current edition of Car Dealer – issue 190 – along with news, reviews, features and much more! Click here to read and download it for free!

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.



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