Doom, despondency, cuts, austerity and supermassive black holes

The last quarter of the year has always traditionally been the hardest in the world of car retailing. The job peaks in September then goes away for a little rest before coming out to play again in January.

The truth is car dealers really ought to have made the profit they need to hit their budgets by now because if they haven’t, well they are probably not going to.

The market however is nothing if unpredictable and having spent the best part of 2 years defying the recession and with many dealer groups reckoned to be posting record profits the fact that there is doom and despondency, cuts and austerity means yet another challenge for the automotive industry.

Battle hardened it may be but insiders are predicting big cost savings will be made in 2011 and we know what that usually means, redundancies.

It is to be hoped that there are enough buying customers about early next year and if we don’t have disastrous weather at the start, like we did last year, we might get off to a flyer.

Although there might not be the buying frenzy seen with 4wd cars as of last year there is already a feeling that buyers are tentatively looking to change for a land tank just in case they get stuck in snow.

Ironically, with fewer customers around at present, you would think that cars would be cheaper and although values have dropped on run of the mill ex-lease cars it certainly hasn’t with anything a bit unusual or with higher spec.

Many new car buyers are looking at the VAT rise as a reason to pull forward their purchase and that may leave a large unpleasant black hole in the figures for early 2011.

If we are not to witness that black hole transform into the supermassive variety dealers and manufacturers will need to work harder than ever to get the public parting with their precious pound.

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One Response to Doom, despondency, cuts, austerity and supermassive black holes

  1. Mark Robbins October 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Well let’s hope so because we have just had our worst month in decades in the business and this month is no better so far, in fact here we are on Wednesday 20th October and the only people through our doors this week have been those trying to sell or part ex their monster gas guzzlers, Range Rover V8’s, 3.0 Jaguar’s, V6 Mondeo’s, VR5 Golf, etc etc: you name it, they have been in with it.

    So far my staff have been unable ( or unwilling ) to do a single deal based on the part ex’s coming across the forecourt and for a site that has been selling up to 40 good used cars a month for years that is a very frightening prospect, and how many do we have on the sheet for this month so far? just five !!!! last month you may recall it was Two, and yes i did say Two.

    Would love to hear from others in the Essex / M25 area to compare, is Essex mondeo man finally waking up to the fact that the recession is hitting hard here after so long as the so called “Star of the South East”?

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