August 28, 2015

Imagine the clubcard points on a Ford Focus!


If the current rumours circulating the car world that Tesco are about to enter the world of selling used cars, (Tesco to sell used cars?) well let’s just say we wish them luck. Clearly they have an enviable record and no doubt they are kings of their particular jungle; however as anyone who has been in the business for any length of time will tell … [Read more...]

The “hard sell” conundrum


We have talked many times about how much of a pivotal role a business manager now plays in a car showroom, and this year that role is set to take on even more importance. Car buyers are now prepared for the fact that they could spend just as long talking about finance and insurance products than about the right car and, of course, the best … [Read more...]

Nobody wants the hassle


There appear to be increasing numbers of people deciding that car ownership has just simply become too expensive. What with the rise in VAT, ever increasing fuel charges, retail price hikes and even rises in the cost of insurance and vehicle excise duty has meant that many people have just decided enough is enough. The new car sales figures for … [Read more...]

We all want the same thing


With used cars likely to be in short supply this year and prices rising as a result, dealers could well be looking at a return to the days of buy backs and self registrations to generate used car stock. The last time we were at this stage it nearly caused the whole business to go into meltdown, and who can forget the fields full of brand new cars … [Read more...]

Bargain of the Week – My First Car


Happy 2011. Yep, we're back with another series of Bargain of the Week. OK, so I've had January off, but this particular edition is a personal one and something many parents dread. Our soon to be seventeen year old is getting her very first car and my other half is already snapping with worry. This is also the year where I'm (celebrating?) eighteen … [Read more...]

Buoyant auctions pushing up prices


As usual the auctions are jam packed with buyers pushing prices into no man’s land, even though popular opinion says that this is not due to any pent up retail demand. It is far more likely that trade buyers are looking to restock for the new year and retail customers are looking at the extra choice to see if they can “bag a bargain” at … [Read more...]

Best in class always sells for top money


The fact that car dealers all seem to be chasing the same kind of stock, namely high spec, high end and predominately German or Indian cars (by that I obviously mean Jaguar Land Rover) clearly is leading to some mad prices being paid. However if there are customers out there willing to pay then how mad is mad? It is well known - although … [Read more...]

Car sales techniques are fine as long as everyone knows the score


Being part of a merry band of 'insiders' can be quite fun at times and gives us an opportunity to tell tales and give away some trade secrets, and unlike the magic circle we hopefully won’t get thrown out for revealing the more darker examples. We have thankfully not sworn an oath to never disclose tricks and sales techniques, and at the end of the … [Read more...]

Come on dealers it’s not rocket science


Surprise surprise! The bad news has only just begun to take effect and already we are hearing stories of many people looking to downsize or sell so they only have one car to maintain. Dealers still don’t seem to be properly geared up to make the process of buying cars from private sources easy enough to appeal to customers. This explains the … [Read more...]

Henry and the tale of the disappearing VW Golf


Perhaps one of the most amusing tales about customer “experience” I ever heard was one I was actually involved in . Way back in the 90’s I used to ply my trade at a busy little independent car dealer in north London. They would regularly bang out 50 used cars every month and although they specialised predominantly in higher end German, specialist … [Read more...]

More value in used cars


Well there is only one thing to say about the current climate, buy used! I’m not sure this will be the long term view but with VAT on new cars a cost manufacturers simply have to pass on, they are more likely to be flexible and take a smaller profit on a used car which is not vatable but of which the extra VAT will cost them only £25 for every … [Read more...]

Best of Bargain of the Week


December has always been the month of culmination; a years' worth of work all down to the wire. The Car of the Year tag is over used and, although the end of the year isn't far away, I've decided on our very own – Best BOTW. I had no idea that two years down the line I'd still be writing MTI's BOTW but it's proven to be a good read and I've enjoyed … [Read more...]

Get in early in the new year as the choice may soon diminish


With every man and his dog predicting tough times in the trade next year and not to mention more bad weather in the short term at least, dealers are gearing up for the pre-new year sales in the hope that they at least get the year off to a flyer. Despite the gloom there are still buyers out there but they are being choosier than ever before and … [Read more...]

Used car prices? Take a wild guess!


At this time of year valuing cars becomes somewhat of a lottery. The true value of the car is dictated not so much by what it is really worth but more by the strange dynamics of the end of season market. Throw in “economic uncertainty”, dealers looking to bank end of year cash, hideous weather and many people with their minds elsewhere and it … [Read more...]

New car supply issues skew the market


Understanding your market is perhaps more important than ever and the ability to match cars with customers has never taken on such significance. As dealers begin to comprehend that they cannot quickly and easily provide the exact model with the exact spec for every customer, they need to understand the need to be more creative and “switched on” … [Read more...]

Prices hotting up as snow melts


In most areas the snow is trying to melt and, low and behold, back come those lost car buyers. Panic over lads! That’s the cry coming from many a showroom this week and, right on cue, prices resurge at the auctions. Our guys on the road are reporting brisk trade generally for the time of year and buyers looking to take advantage pre-vat … [Read more...]

In car retailing you only get one bite of the cherry


Cuts and rises in costs affects us all in some way or other, whether we are employed, work in the public sector, are students or retired the down turn will have some bearing on our attitudes towards spending any spare cash we have. However, if you look at many businesses, especially in the retail sector, they continue to post healthy profits in … [Read more...]

Gang of four by four’s for the winter


The bad weather is upon us, albeit a little earlier than normal, and already the predicted enquiries for 4x4’s have begun in earnest. Dealers are reporting values rising at auction and are stocking up expecting a severe winter ahead of us. As we said in our recent Tiguan feature the rise of the soft 4x4 is ensuring that whilst 2 years ago this … [Read more...]

Will a lack of decent used car stock change car retailing in 2011?


Its Snow joke this week in the motor trade, a sprinkling of the white stuff and the tumbleweed flows through showrooms which are already seasonally down on traffic. One positive however is that it gives sales teams the opportunity to re-group and identify where there next customers might be coming from, and this very much maximises all areas of … [Read more...]

No pain, no gain?


Finding the exact used car you are looking for has not been easy this year and those that have found the car they wanted had to pay a premium to get it. The trade buyers have been in the same boat and it doesn’t seem to matter how bad the economic news has been the values of certain models has remained high with motor traders shaking their heads in … [Read more...]

Which? report still rankles


I’m not going out on a limb when I say that customers negotiating on buying a new or used car today are in a better position than they have ever been. They have access to much more detailed information and with most dealers advertising the cars on-line there is certainly more transparency in how sales people attempt to sell cars. The recent … [Read more...]

T is for Transition


The dynamics in the car showroom have changed beyond all recognition in recent years and despite the likes of Which? and the Daily Mail still believing and reporting that the car trade is full of spivs and ankle tappers (still baffles me that one) trust me it is not like that anymore. Of course there are still sales techniques and closing … [Read more...]

Don’t worry, be happy


When travelling around the dealerships of the UK, it fascinates me how differently they all run and it is almost always the busy happy ones that are the most successful. It may seem obvious but smiling happy personnel who actually look like they enjoy being there can make the world of difference, especially in tougher times like now. I was in … [Read more...]

Marketing cars online, answers on a postcard


Marketing cars has taken on a whole new impetus in the last few years. The speed of that change has surprised many car dealers to the extent that they are confused about just how far they need to go to make it financially viable. For example, we are told by all the marketers that a classified car ad with 3 images is almost 10 times more likely … [Read more...]

Car buying experience should improve as buyers become scarce


Whilst talking to a sales manager incognito at a local main dealer earlier this week, I asked him how business was generally and about his fears for the coming months. “It is what it is” he replied somewhat dolefully, “we will just have to face whatever comes at us and deal with it”. Clearly customers who have become so much more switched on in … [Read more...]