It’s tough now, but there’s still a bright future

  14 July 2019

Lookers’ profit downgrade this week only confirmed what we already knew; it’s tough selling new and used cars at the moment.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if this was only the first such announcement.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve spoken to a few retailers who all say exactly the same thing. Targets are getting more difficult to hit across almost all brands.

Normally there isn’t much love for the manufacturers at times like this as the pressure to hit targets just escalates.

However, looking longer term, there is reason for hope despite both the current issues and new disruptors trying to get into the market looking to take either business or margin away from retailers.

Speaking at the Frost & Sullivan Intelligent Mobility conference this week Agustin Martin, CEO of Toyota Connected Europe, pointed out something wonderfully obvious. While talking about new players in the market he highlighted one advantage the traditional car brands have is the retail networks. These networks provide the one thing the digital newbies don’t do, and that’s offer a human in a physical location to talk to customers.

Yes, more and more of the car buying experience is digital, but it’s people that make a difference by providing a positive experience for consumers. And this is something, he points out, that Google and Amazon don’t have.

Tristan Young

Editorial director

Auto Retail Network

 

imageTags: Lookers

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