Flexibility is the key to car sales these days

As we go into August the world of car sales has been yo-yoing, with some industry insiders saying business is brisk with plenty of buyer demand while others saying its tough out there and getting tougher.

Certainly cars which really have unique selling points are still making a premium whereas run of the mill volume type examples are selling purely on price. This is actually fine so long as there are enough customers that are interested.

As we have often pointed out the long term supply chain will come under pressure and car dealers will inevitably be forced to adjust their selling parameters.

This especially affects franchised dealers who, for a variety of reasons all of which have been mentioned before, are still unable to get their act together and retail older cars to fill the vacuum which will be created by the shrinking car parc.

Independent dealers are far more flexible and will pretty much sell any car which they can make a margin on regardless of age, and are also far more able when it comes to overcoming issues such as reconditioning costs.

It is no surprise that there are now some very successful independent dealers who are selling prestige cars which main dealers can’t or won’t. By offering a very credible alternative to the buying public and in many ways showing the franchised sector how car retailing should be done they are delivering a great service.

With the advancement in retailing of cars via the internet showroom facilities have become less of an issue. By meeting presentation standards and micro marketing their stock independent dealers are ahead of the game when it comes to offering a range of different cars.

Flexibility during times of upheaval is the key and franchised dealers just aren’t that flexible to adapt quickly enough, and for many involved it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion whilst being powerless to do anything about it.

Franchised dealers will be well advised to switch on to selling older models of their own franchises or risk seeing their order bank shrink considerably.


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One Response to Flexibility is the key to car sales these days

  1. Mark Robbins August 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    I have to agree wholeheartedly with this article, as an Independent dealer with a sales site of approx 50 units we are finding that the unwanted cars from Main Agents and company disposal that fall into the large and prestige department are our current best sellers! Just to make a point, this last month alone our best profits came from these unlikely marques: Jaguar 2.5 V6, Jaguar XJ6 3.2 “Sport” Mondeo 3.0 V6 ST 220, Mondeo “Ghia X” Estate 2.5 V6, BMW 330i “Convertible” BMW X5 4.4 Petrol!! and last but not least, 2 Volvo V70 2.4 petrol Estates, a Toyota 2.0 RAV4, and a Range Rover 4.6 HSE (albeit sensational value) and what are the cars that returned no interest with not even a door opened? Various Peugeot 206 1.4, Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SXi, three Ford KA, a brace of Renault Clio’s, and the usual dull and dreary main stream hatchbacks. Our only explanation being that when a customer says “I have a few more to look at” they really do! there are hundreds of small and run of the mill cars out there, drive along viewing any independents forecourt (in our area anyway) and all you see is the usual suspects, we filled our front row with so called “unwanted stock” and it worked wonders, the Mondeo ST220 3.0 V6 we could have sold ten times over yet the dealer who sold it to us couldnt wait to dispose of it ! however, as all those in this business know, it could just have been a case of “Flavours of the month” then again, maybe not, as they say, fortune favours the brave?………………………………………….

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