Complacency is not an option

  25 April 2016

A cursory glance at the latest figures tell a story of success and solid growth. The clamour for new metal continues, fuelled in part by attractive financing deals and the apparent endless supply of new models from the manufacturers to keep consumer interest high.

And yet, we’ve got a small but important story that hints at the prospect of negative interest rates. Suddenly there’s a chink of gloom in the otherwise rosy outlook. But wait, there’s more; the latest rumblings surrounding the on-going ‘dieselgate’ saga highlight the discrepancies in the way US and European consumers are being treated by Volkswagen. Once the story gains traction you can bet UK owners won’t be best pleased, and you’ll likely have to take the flack again.

Don’t think any of you non VW franchise holders can get off lightly, though. With industry-wide pressures from OEMs to invest heavily in property and CI upgrades, plus the growing threat from online retailers and the financial uncertainty caused by the forthcoming EU referendum, it’s a tough old world out there. Building resilience is key when there are so many external threats, whether that’s with cash in the bank, top-notch staff, bolstering your own reputation or exploring new revenue streams. Easier said than done, of course, but it’s something you can’t ignore.

Iain Dooley

Editor, Agenda

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