Now is the time to buy but it’s a hard sell

There’s no doubt that car dealers are becoming increasingly frustrated trying to work out how the market is likely to pan out for the remainder of 2009. Buoyed by the half year surge in used car performance, and for some record breaking profits thus far, some dealers are still being cautious in their outlook to sales, especially in the months following September. With the situation regarding supply of used car stock unlikely to ease in the short term, many sales teams are feeling unsure of their ability to pass on the massive price hikes seen in the last few months. In the first part of the year it was a question of “what colour do you want?” and “when do you want it?” such was the bountiful supply of great value late plate used stock and, with the depression over new car sales just starting to bite, customers had never had it so good if they were lucky enough to be able to take advantage. As a result salespeople didn’t have to work all that hard to convert leads into sales, because to a certain extent the market did it for them. Now however, faced with the fact that prices have returned to pre-downturn levels (and continue to rise further) and supplies showing no signs of improving in the short to medium term, dealers are finding it very hard to sell the same cars to a well informed audience for up to 30% more! Of course the market will dictate the price of any product and the motor trade is no different, but with such steep rises in such a short space of time salespeople will need to work much harder and build much more value in how they present their product to convince potential buyers that the market insists they buy now.

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