A new year – time to look to some new thinking?

  18 December 2017

Christmas is coming and many readers may be looking forward to a welcome, if short holiday, as the year draws to a close. But, no matter how hard anyone tries to switch off, no doubt a few thoughts of work will creep in as the wrapping paper is tidied away and turkey starts to fill sandwiches.

The latter part of the year has proved a concern for a majority of dealers as new car sales have dropped off, in some cases dramatically, and diesel faces an uncertain future. Add to this the rise of electric cars and its impact on repairs and increasing automation – then there are potential Brexit woes to add into the mix.

But, with resilience as their middle name, retailers will be looking for brightness in the gloom, and these include some positive signs for the used car sector and the ongoing bullish performance from Motorpoint is evidence of this – what is more, with more cars coming onto the market as PCPs come to an end should furnish dealers with plenty of attractive stock. No doubt Sytners was of this mind when it purchased The Car People recently, its second used car supermarket group takeover in a year.

More retailers may also want to look at taking on the leasing specialists as another alternative for customers. It’s been reported that quality used cars are now making their way onto the books of leasing firms as they seek to offer more choice and affordability. The term ‘subscription’ is increasingly being used by manufacturers – Volvo and its Polestar brand is one example – and in the US, there is growing talk of drivers wanting deals where they can switch vehicles according to their needs. Alternative ownership models are in the news as are alternative sales as shown by Rockar that is due to open in Manchester and the AR revolution is happening now.

There is a lot going on and a lot to think about but certainly when relaxing with you and yours we wish you all the very best for a wonderful Christmas break.

Rachel Gordon

Editor

Auto Retail Network

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