Year end figures – a sobering thought


News from the front line; as if current circumstances are not enough we now must navigate what has traditionally been the hardest part of the year. In the sales showroom staff are thinking about planning that Christmas party (but maybe paying for it themselves this year) and customers are preparing for slightly less expensive purchases. Dealers traditionally de-stock for year-end and hope that they have reached the budget target in order to cope with the seasonal downturn. This year however things will be very different, certain cars have continued to depreciate on an unprecedentedscale indeed the dreaded 4wd sector is seeing cars devalue by as much as £2,500 in one month. This is not only staggering but ensures that no one in the trade can afford to rest on their laurels and wait for things to improve in 2009. The stock needs to keep turning and the deals have to keep being made.

For the customer however the 2nd or 3rd week of December may be a great time to haggle for a deal as dealer groups will be looking to cram every last drop of energy striving to break even at end of the year.

It’s all relative if you have a car to trade in. When you get £000s off your next car be prepared to lose heavily on your existing model. But try and ensure that whoever you buy from works hard to get the sale because next year it could all change, especially with used cars.

With new car sales down by 25% year on year there may be a dearth of used cars at some point in the New Year meaning prices will stabilise and maybe even rise slightly.

The sales this year, which usually start in late December, may have more bargains than ever and lots of added extras included in the price, though I don’t believe we will ever beat the “buy one get one free” deal that a certain dealer has offered in desperation


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