Auto Retail Agenda: 9 December 2019

  08 December 2019




Volvo network RoS up 50% in 2019

Average retailer profitability for the Volvo network is expected to hit 1.5% this year, which would equate to a net profit of £294k a site, according to Volvo sales director Matt Galvin.

The increase from 1.0% RoS at the start of the year, according to the Franchising Report 2019, has come at the same time as extensive investment in new premises and upgrades by many Volvo retailers.

Mr Galvin added: “The top quartile make north of £500k.” Volvo will launch its first fully electric car in 2020 and Galvin says the onus will be on retailers to find alternatives to revenue lost through the switch to electric, although Volvo will help. “It won’t be an issue for 10 years or so, though.”

He added: “Nothing major is planned for 2020 apart from more of the same.” Volvo will also expand its Virtual Sales Manager programme in 2020, after “toe-dipping” proved successful.






Online buyers less likely to haggle

Two thirds of car buyers are less likely to haggle over pricing if cars are sold online, according to research by Auto Trader.

Speaking at the ASE Financial Conference, insight director Nick King said this was despite a lack of pricing transparency. “Half of 18-34s think they will end up paying more for the car than expected.”

King said that in a world of Amazon Prime, car buying has hardly changed – but it will still be two decades before we are prepared to buy a new car without any human interaction. “For a used car, it will be 23 years.”


Luscombe is dealer of the year

Leeds-based Luscombe Motors has been named Suzuki Dealer of the Year 2019. It is the fourth time Robin Luscombe’s retailer, established in 2010, has won the top Suzuki GB award. A Suzuki spokesman told Auto Retail Agenda the full list of award winners will be published on Monday afternoon. “This year, it includes a lot of long service award winners, including two Appleyard sites.”


Lotus plans network expansion

Lotus is looking to bring its network into the modern era ahead of new product arriving in 2021. Sales and aftersales director Geoff Dowding said he would be sticking with franchise agreements and would take a “flexible approach” to retailer investment but was looking to grow the current 18-strong network with a “concentrated number of retail partners”.





Ford Mustang Mach-E excites US retailers

Ford retailers in the United States are reporting strong interest for the firm’s first all-electric car, the Mach-E. Tim Hovik owns San Tan Ford Phoenix, a top North American Ford retailer. He took nearly 50 reservations in two weeks; two in three are conquest customers.


Aston Martin opens second factory

Aston Martin has officially opened its second production facility in St Athan, Wales. The first car built there will be the new DBX SUV. Full production begins in Q2 2020; 90% of production will be exported. All-electric Lagonda-branded cars will also be built there. The new facility will produce around 7,000 vehicles a year, doubling Aston Martin’s production capacity.





Closing prices on 6 December 2019 and weekly movement

Caffyns, Inchcape, Motorpoint all record big gains

Auto Trader Group 561.0p (-1.0p)

Cambria 66.0p (n/c)

Caffyns 400.0p (+25.0p)

Inchcape 681.0p (+30.0p)

Lookers 53.8p (n/c)

Marshall Motor Holdings 148.0p (-3.0p)

Motorpoint 277.0p (+21.0p)

Pendragon 11.02p (+0.02p)

Vertu 42.0p (+2.4p)




Ford Kuga, on sale now ahead of deliveries in early 2020, priced from £23,995; range includes 26 g/km CO2 plug-in hybrid with 35-mile electric range priced the same as the equivalent 2.0-litre diesel

Mercedes-Benz SLC Final Edition, 200, 300 or AMG 43 engines, deliveries from spring 2020 with prices from £37,120

Jaguar F-Type, facelifted model gets new front end, more interior tech; V6 dropped so range is four-cylinder or V8. Prices from £54,060




Tuesday, UK GDP

Thursday, General Election





Johnson victory ‘priced in’

A Conservative victory in Thursday’s general election has already been priced in by markets and the reaction for the pound and the stock market will be modest. Opinion polls and bookmakers are both predicting a majority for Boris Johnson. However, a hung parliament risks a big sell-off, reports The Sunday Times.


Premium car thefts up

Direct Line reports a sharp increase in thefts of premium-brand vehicles. More than 67,000 have been stolen in five years; two in three were taken from the owner’s home address. 28% of all premium car thefts were reported in London.


BLOG: EV RVs come in from the cold




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