Agency: Inchcape and Sytner contrast

  02 May 2023

Inchcape and Sytner last week reported contrasting views on the impact of agency in first-quarter trading updates.

Inchcape reported overall revenue up 50%, with a 70% increase in distribution revenues, but a much smaller 8% growth in retail revenues.

“Revenue growth was adversely impacted by the shift towards agency for certain brands,” said the retailer in a trading statement issued via the LSE.

Sytner owner Penske Automotive Group, in contrast, reported a 1% increase in gross profit to £880m for the quarter – aided by the shift to agency. “Overall, we’ve been quite satisfied with it at the moment,” Autocar reported CEO Roger Penske saying during an earnings call.

According to Sytner, Mercedes-Benz pays 5% commission on each sale. The retailer remains in control of F&I.

Overall in the first quarter, Sytner made gross profit per vehicle sold of £1,700 – but in March, it made an average gross profit of £3,125 per car.

The retail giant sold 6,933 cars via agency in Q1, compared to 47,662 new retail cars.

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