Suppliers to the motor trade are rallying round to help dealers who are facing a devastating loss of revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A raft of free tools, offers and payment breaks have been offered by suppliers to assist car dealers get through these tough times.
As many dealerships have faced revenues disappear, many have been calling on industry supplier to help them cut costs. In this post we round up what we know so far.
Here’s what we know so far.
The used car search platform has offered to halve dealers’ bills for April and May. Customers were being contacted on Friday (March 20) with details, but do not need to do anything as the discount will automatically be applied. Read more here.
Auto Trader has announced a temporary relief package over its fees in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an unscheduled update to the London Stock Exchange, it noted said car dealers were ‘facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty’ because of coronavirus and that the government was urging companies ‘to rally round to help the collective national effort’.
As a result, all customers will not be charged for their advertising packages throughout April. In addition, it will be letting them defer paying for their March advertising by 30 days. Read more here.
The general insurance and consumer credit business is halving its fees for three months starting on April 1 and will also be suspending monthly Appointed Representatives fees increases in line with the retail price index until December 31, 2020
CarGurus and PistonHeads
All listings subscription rates have been reduced by 50 per cent for April.
Wendy Harris, vice-president of European sales at the automotive research and shopping websites, said they understood that the situation in the UK was creating a very difficult climate for businesses, and they wanted to support them during the period of uncertainty.
The car search engine is giving all new and existing dealers 50 per cent off their advertising costs in April and May.
In addition, new dealers can get a two-week free trial of its Premium service
The online community used by motor traders to buy and sell trade stock is waiving payments for the next two months (April and May) that are made by customers via direct debit.
In a letter to members that it shared with Car Dealer, it said: ‘We are a small independent business involved in your businesses on a daily basis. We do not have huge profit margins and still have borrowings and commitments like everyone else.
‘That said, we want to do our bit. This will impact on us greatly, but if through our actions we can help some of you create additional income, then we will be glad to be of service.’
Carwow has launched a ‘Delivery & Disinfection’ service to ease remote purchasing and help dealers sell to customers who are avoiding social interaction.
It is pointing customers to dealers who can deliver home-based test drives and have their new cars delivered to their homes once the deal has been agreed.
‘Delivery and disinfection’ will see the delivery driver spray and wipe down the interior, keys and door handles. They will also drop documents through the customer’s letter box, meaning a zero-contact buying experience. Read more here.
The automotive personalised video provider is the dropping monthly subscription charges for all its products as of April 1 and until the government says car dealerships can reopen.
Carol Fairchild, chief customer officer, said: ‘Collectively, our senior management team has over 500 years of experience in the industry, and never before have we experienced such a challenging situation, with self-isolation, social distancing and businesses at a standstill and unable to operate.
“The car industry is our lives, so we feel the pain. This will be tough; but we also know that our industry is capable of fighting back. So, when the doors reopen, whenever that may be, we want to ensure that our industry colleagues and their systems are fit and ready to get the job done.’
Customers do not need to take any action, as the subscription fees will be automatically suspended.
The firm is offering car dealers three months’ free use of its Checkout and Remote Apply tools to help their businesses get through the coronavirus crisis.
It will mean customers can buy vehicles and finance them remotely, which will be of vital commercial importance to dealerships – as many people self-isolate and quarantine themselves. Read more here.
eBay Motors Group
The group has announced it will not charge dealers for advertising in April. The group is also extending payment terms on March invoices to assist dealers and says it will be ‘constantly reviewing the situation to support the dealer community’.
Phill Jones, head of eBay Motors Group, said: ‘I am pleased that we are able to provide this support to our customers at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation to understand impact on future invoices.
‘We sincerely hope that this helps our dealers through this unpredictable period and that government support helps to stabilise our prized industry.’
The new advertising platform has opened up its site to both new and used stock for the first time. Any unsold advertising places on the recently acquired HonestJohn website are being given to partner dealers free of charge. The site is also making ‘contact-free viewing and delivery the new standard’ and increasing the prominence of listings with videos to aid those searching at home.
The data insight firm is offering free services indefinitely to help car dealerships move to more online sales.
It will provide three of its survey services – the PX valuation survey, the online sales survey and the product survey – to any dealership, whether they’re a current client or not, as it aims to support the automotive industry through the coronavirus crisis.
JudgeService founder and managing director Neil Addley said: ‘We recognise this is a worrying time for car dealerships, so we’re offering these services completely free as a gesture of solidarity to the industry, helping them to find a way through the challenges and discover a new way of selling cars.
‘This isn’t a short-term way for us to tempt people in – the offer will be in place for as long as the coronavirus crisis is affecting the UK automotive industry.’
All subscriptions from April 1 are being upgraded to enable publishing of stock through online media accounts for free for three months
It is also giving single-user access to StockBookOne for new customers to manage their stock and publish their stock online free for three months
Warrantywise is offering every car dealer free Home Cover to protect their central heating and boiler when working from home. Also for those still selling, the company is upgrading every warranty free of charge to include MOT Cover and a host of additional options to help ease the burden at this difficult time.
Car dealers and manufacturers will be given free access to the What Car? New Car Buying platform from April to the end of June and those currently using the solution will not be charged for access. Dealers will not be contractually tied in as part of the offer either. Read more here.
This post will be updated as often as possible with the very latest offers suppliers are providing dealers with in this difficult time. If you have one to include, contact Car Dealer Magazine on (023) 9252 2434.