Surveys and statistics are not the whole truth

  22 January 2018

There seems uncertainty as to who actually coined the phrase, “there are three kinds of lies, lies, damned lies and statistics”. But, no matter who, it has a ring of truth this January.

Read some stories and it’s time to throw in the towel. Out this week is the KPMG survey which states automotive executives expect almost half of dealerships will disappear in less than a decade. The news is even worse in the US, as a study from think tank RethinkX claimed American dealerships would be out of business in the next seven years because of greater demand for electric cars and ride-sharing services.

Meanwhile, days before, a quarterly dealer attitude survey from Close Brothers Motor Finance found 92% of dealerships were confident about prospects for the year ahead. What is more, dealers apparently saw a bullish 8.5% rise in used car sales last month, according to a survey from enquiryMAX.

The main message, it seems, is that there are some confusing messages about. These stories may be grabbing the headlines, but anyone running a business would do well to focus on the job in hand, because while there are undoubtedly some partial truths, speculation is rarely helpful.

A strong online presence is crucial, but there remains a demand for first-rate service and this is common for many retailers and service providers. So, some customers like to visit a branch of Kuoni and others may prefer to visit Purplebricks has its supporters, but also plenty of detractors, particularly those who are less keen on the self-service approach to buying or selling a home.

Having great stock and expertise along with offering value will remain relevant. But, it is also essential to be open to new ideas. So seize the day and make sure you are fully up to speed with the latest thinking from highly successful insiders – i.e people who really understand the sector – by joining the latest Auto Retail Live Q1 Targets Briefing. You can find out more and register here – it’s free, practical and pertinent, and as such, guaranteed to be genuinely useful.

The briefing takes place on Tuesday 6 February at 9.00am for 30 minutes. Be sure to sign up now as it could be the most useful 30 minutes you’ll spend this month in terms of hitting targets, improving innovation and boosting profitability.


Rachel Gordon


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