Lessons from the past
01 September 2015
A wet weekend and some family motivation to rid the house of its junk saw me up in the loft last Sunday. I dont know about you but there are some darker recesses of that roof space that havent been visited for a few decades.
Why do we all horde magazines? In one corner were my old copies of Automotive Management covering the period 1996 to the turn of the millennium when many of the team now working on Auto Retail Network was producing (in my opinion) the best newspaper this industry has ever seen.
Browsing through the pages (well, I wasnt going to just throw them away), I was struck by how familiar most of the stories seemed to be:
PCP buyers in negative equity fears
Car supermarket chain calls in receivers
XXX (insert brand name of your choice) plans volume sales push
Pre-reg numbers hit new heights
And that was just from one issue in July 1989. The point Im trying to make is: apart from the advent of the online customer, which was still in its infancy at the time, nothing much fundamental about the industry has changed. The business challenges that face auto retailers trying to stay in profit are the same as they were 15 or 20 years ago.
Whether this is a comforting thought as we move into one of the busiest weeks of the year will probably depend on which franchise youre selling. But, provided you focus on the basics and dont get too carried away by all the hype, theres every chance youll still be around in another 15 or 20 years time.
Meanwhile, enjoy September.
Auto Retail Agenda