Volvo to revamp business sales operation

Volvo is revamping its business sales operation from 1 January 2018, establishing a team of four regional business development managers to support retailers in their local fleet transactions, including accompanying retailers to appointments with smaller fleets and increasing the number of fleet specialist franchises.

2016 represents stable year for franchised outlet numbers

The total number of new car sales points increased from 4,840 in January 2016 to 5,011 at the beginning of 2017, which follows a fall of seven sales points in 2015. This is one of the key findings of the 2017 Franchising Report, produced by Auto Retail Network in association with MSX International.

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Daily rental industry learning value of ready-to-retail defleeting

The daily rental industry is learning the value of defleeting stock in ready-to-retail condition in order to maximise returns, and addressing a widespread stigma among used car buyers about ex-rental vehicles because of the imagined abuse they received.

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Auto Retail Bulletin presents strategic advice and analysis for senior executives and auto retail business owners. It helps you run your business successfully and takes away the information overload.

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Rising to the challenges of disruptive technologies

The automotive industry is facing challenges, some of which could be disruptive, and retailers will need to adapt to these changes. It will need an intensification of the use of existing dealership facilities and a more flexible space utilisation introducing more digital lounges and direct-to-customer services, all emanating from the dealership hub.

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Volvo says retailers will evolve and businesses have to change

Jon Wakefield, Volvo Car UK’s managing director, is adamant that the Swedish brand will not launch its planned online sales channel until he believes it is absolutely right, with an operational start time likely to be during the second quarter of this year.

Admitting that it was originally due to become operational before Christmas last year Mr Wakefield said: “We are finalising some of the functionality and I won’t launch it with our network until it is absolutely right.”

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Market beginning to change

The full year new car registration figures for 2016 painted a very healthy picture of the industry when they were released in early January 2017. After a year of quite remarkable world events and economic changes it was good news to see almost 2.7 million vehicles registered over the course of the year, reflecting an increase of 2.3% over 2015.

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Buyers flock to the used car sector

With many waiting until March’s new registration plates before purchasing a vehicle, a slight drop in registrations for February was perhaps not surprising. The market fell -0.3% overall in the month compared with February 2017, with falls of 4.4% in private registrations and 5.3% in business registrations not quite balanced by the 3.3% uplift in fleet.

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Auto Retail Bulletin presents strategic advice and analysis for senior executives and auto retail business owners. It helps you run your business successfully and takes away the information overload.

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PCPs drive used car market as new car sector contracts

The pressure may be on in the new car market, with the growth in 2016 driven by fleet and falls in volume predicted for 2017 and 2018. But private buyers have not left the market altogether, with used car sales rising 7.9% in 2016, principally driven by the availability of used car PCP finance.

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Lower volumes and strong demand bolsters values

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Private registrations continue to fall back

Another monthly fall in private registrations, with November seeing 1.2% fewer than the same period last year, means year-to-date private registrations are now just 0.1% ahead of 2015. It was down to fleet to drive growth in the market, with a 5.1% rise in November, combined with a big increase in business registrations, meaning the month finished up 2.9% overall, delivering a 2.5m year-to-date record.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) remained strong in the month, growing 25.1% to 6,663 units, representing 3.6% of the market – the highest ever achieved.

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