CEO and chairman of dealer group TrustFord Stuart Foulds warned that the industry needs to wait to see what happens when dealerships return to work before making any hasting decisions.
The dealer boss explained to James Baggott on Car Dealer Live today how he was concerned about predictions when no one really knows what the appetite for cars will be like.
He said: ‘The SMMT, the NFDA and Ford all seem to have a different set of numbers.
‘Let’s get back to work and see what happens before we make any knee-jerk reactions. Rather than making a decision in advance which could make a negative impact on our business.’
Foulds has chosen to not open all of his businesses immediately, and rather wait to see what response there is from customers when dealerships open on Monday, June 1.
Foulds said: ‘We’re going to open progressively, so on Monday we’re going to open about 80 per cent of the businesses. We’re keeping some smaller ones shut for the time being just to see what the flavour of the business is actually going to be like.
‘First job will be to deliver all of the cars that had been sold but were locked up during lockdown.’
The TrustFord CEO is also worried about hasty price moves from valuations services, such as Cap, and explained how he is lobbying to prevent this as part of a working group.
He said: ‘One of the things we have lobbied hard for is Cap to leave prices alone because there’s no market data to support any reduction in price.
He added: ‘Traditionally, especially PLCs, they have to provide a provision against the stock for reduced valuations. That would have a double whammy effect, if that happens, again it further damages profitability in businesses, so it’s really important that we successfully manage to persuade Cap to just be very cautious about making big changes in terms of valuations on used cars. There’s no real reason to do so.
‘And again, the only worry that I do have, is that some dealerships or dealer groups may choose to liquidate stock. Just to get cash, and of course if that happens, that’s why prices will take a tumble. Hopefully it doesn’t happen but there’s a risk there.’
To watch the interview in full click play at the top of this page.
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