August the quiet month? Not this year

  05 August 2018

August is the quiet month, what my old news editor used to call `the bucket and spade’ month, when everyone goes off for a breather, for sales and workshop teams to forget about meeting targets for a bit and reacquaint themselves with those strangers in their house. Or as others call them, their family.

Ever since the arrival of the twice-yearly plate change it’s been the time when the trade recharges its batteries in preparation for the big push in September. But perhaps not this time. August 2018 is going to be possibly the most force-fed month ever as manufacturers struggle to get rid of the last of their non-WLTP cars and chuck big sums at deals to shift them.

You can imagine the conversations which must have been played out hundreds of times already in showrooms around the country: “Boss, can I book my summer holidays in August please? I want two weeks with the family.”

“Forget it, you’re on overtime six days a week between now and August 31 shifting 60 Corsas Vauxhall has dumped on us. Don’t care how, just sell them.”

You can change the numbers and models to suit but you get the picture.

And a year from now it will all happen again, in the van market, except that by then manufacturers and retailers may have learnt the lessons of this summer and be a bit more prepared.

Why, some may even get to have a summer holiday.

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