It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

A lot of people say that the internet is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to the motor trade, and there is certainly some logic in that paradoxical statement.

The best because car dealers can reach out to many more prospective customers nationally, can immediately update the information for each car and give a detailed description with multiple pictures of many cars. The worst because a customer can get all the information they need and be completely informed and prepared before having to contact a dealer and can use this information to play one dealer off against another.

In some ways the same best and worst scenario could be said of the scrappage scheme. Although the headline figures look good and the industry has been in general very grateful for the shot in the arm, many sales people have become blasé and in many cases have actually lost the ability to sell.

There are those that would say that this is a good thing, but half the fun and excitement of buying a new car for some people can be haggling for the best deal. With everyone being well aware of the best deal on scrappage it is has been relatively easy to complete order forms and wait for the new car to arrive.

During the normal process of selling cars, completing a thorough appraisal on a part exchange is a vital part of that process, but with scrappage as long as the car fits the criteria no inspection is necessary.

Many sales managers are worried that their sales staff, having got used to saying ‘yes what colour do you want’, may find it harder to actually try and demonstrate an alternative car should the first choice be unavailable.

Indeed many people think that in the not too distant future these staff will be replaced with “Customer Service Agents and If that is to happen it could be quite a challenge to provide the expertise necessary to sell a different model, colour and priced car.

So although most dealers who provide new cars will be ready for the tap to be turned off, let’s just hope that there are plans in place to fulfil their future customer requirements when scrappage is consigned to history.

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