Accelerating the shift from dealer to retailer

Car retailers depend on building lasting customer relationships to ensure long-term profitability, but when economic uncertainty puts pressure on new car sales, there are many lessons dealerships can learn from the wider retail and service industries.

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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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Fleet drives growth as retail falls again

The UK new car market returned to growth in August, but the 3.3% increase was all driven by the fleet sector. Retail registrations fell by 0.2% and business registrations by over 28%. Retail registrations have now fallen in each of the last three months.

Year-to-date registrations are still running ahead of the same period in 2015 overall, but the increase in retail registrations has now dropped to 1.0%.

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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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Profitability hit by a drop in overall return on sales levels

On the face of it, the first month of post-Brexit trading does not make pretty reading for the average UK motor retailer with average losses of £6,500 for the month. This contrasts markedly with a profit of £3,800 in the prior year and sends the rolling 12-month average-site profit down to its lowest level since the end of 2013 at £187,000.

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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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Volvo responds to concerns over online sales initiative

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Pause for thought

Are you easy to do business with? Most retailers could probably list any number of measures to suggest that they are, but have you ever really paused to ask?

Virtually every business will have customer service initiatives in place, many of which appear successful on paper, but do you really know what brings your customers back – and what drives the defectors away?

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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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Retailers must show PCP price of vehicles online

If automotive retailers are not showing the monthly PCP price of their stock digitally then they are missing an opportunity. The finance office needs to be online. So says Shaun Harris, sales director of Codeweavers.

Noting that affordability through increasing use of PCP and PCH finance has been central to the rise in new and used car sales, he asserts that in what might well be a tighter market, retailers can only benefit from this affordability attribute through transparent monthly pricing at the crucial point of sale – online.

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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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Retail registrations fall another 6% in July

None of the rhetoric about ‘anticipated stability’ or ‘moderate growth’ could hide the fact that decline in retail registrations is appearing to be accelerating, falling in July by 6.1% after the 4.5% fall in June.

A turnaround in business registrations (up 1.9% compared with the 25% drop in June) and a 5% increase in fleet registrations combined to counteract the retail fall, giving an overall increase of 0.1%, but the weakness of retail activity will clearly be a concern.

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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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Removing friction points is the key to converting opportunities

Consumers interact with automotive retailers in what Google describes as a series of ‘moments’ – critical touchpoints in the buying journey. Making these interactions friction-free holds the key to maximising sales and aftersales revenue.

When Google talks about friction, it is referring to the little obstacles or difficulties that might stall the car buying journey or irritate customers looking for aftersales support, with the end result being that they don’t purchase, don’t book or turn elsewhere.

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Agenda 24 July 2016

More servicing, fewer repairs

The forces driving the retail market for servicing and repairs are complex, but the most recent prime mover was the 2008/2009 recession and how this impacted on new and used car sales and the car parc age profile. While the recovery from the recession has been weak and prolonged, new car sales accelerated from 2012, and 2015 was an all-time record for registrations.

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