New car sales beginning to catch up with used but demand for second-hand motors hasn’t slowed, says Waylands Automotive boss

Time 1 year ago

Dealer group Waylands has seen orders for new and used vehicles begin to balance out.

The group of four Volvo dealerships along the M4 corridor has seen incredible demand for used cars that has not slowed since June 1.

However, CEO John O’Hanlon told Car Dealer new vehicle interest was gaining traction too, and the balance between new and used car sales is balancing out.

He appeared on Car Dealer Live on July 22 and said: ‘New cars have picked up in the last two weeks; we’re getting that 50/50 where we had a dominance of used car order take.’

Despite seeing inquiries drop by 80 per cent in April, O’Hanlon commented the business still saw those 20 per cent of inquiries and sold some cars.

‘That doubled in May, so we were still 60 per cent off where we needed to be,’ he said.

‘We were drawing up viabilities that showed us losing the best part of £1.5m in three months. That was the frightening part.’

However, since dealerships reopened on June 1, sales are up for Waylands and it has since had its best month ever.

O’Hanlon said: ‘Order take since June 1 is up 67 per cent year on year. We managed to pull a result that will bring us back to break even by the end of June, and we will have a good July, but that’s on the back of doing 200 used units which will blow away our best month by a third.

‘There are more customers out there than we’re used to at this time of year, and those customers are more willing to buy.

‘Our conversion rates are not quite double but they’re not far away. We’ve got serious customers.

‘What we’re seeing is a level of demand, and a level of pent-up demand. If that gets me into August, I then know that September is arriving and we’ve got good availability of product on new cars which I know a lot of brands don’t have. We’re working our socks off around used.’

He added: ‘We ran a Volvo used car event and it was our best-ever week. It blew away anything we’d done around VIP events in March or September, so we were really reassured by that.

‘But then you think when is the hangover going to kick in, but it’s not – we’ve continued to sell more cars. Last week was our best non-event week.’

You can watch the full interview at the top of this story.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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