24 February 2023

Auto Retail Live: Business Briefing

 JOIN US: Tuesday, 21 March 2023 at 2pm

Market performance indicators are giving mixed messages. New car registrations may be up, but retail sales are down. Used car profitability is still strong, but consumer confidence is weak. Short supply means aftersales could be under pressure, yet retailers still can’t find enough technicians.

In our next Auto Retail Live Business Briefing, we’ll talk to George Ashford, CEO Inchcape Retail, Devonshire Motors’ Nathan Tomlinson, Mike Jones from Fresh Tracks, and Auto Trader’s Marc Palmer.


 Broadcast live from our Manchester studio we will discuss the latest trends, trading and what’s expected to happen to UK auto retail in the next few months. Our panel will examine the data, discuss hands-on experience, and offer advice about how to get the most out of the first half of 2023.

Key topics for discussion include:

  • Is the new car market returning to pre-pandemic normality?
  • Used car pricing outlook
  • Should you stop stocking used EVs?
  • Customer retention tips in a tough market
  • Aftersales pressures

 Our expert panel will also be available live to answer your questions to help you run a more successful business.

REGISTER NOW and join us online at 2pm on Tuesday, 21 March for our next Business Briefing. It’s 40 minutes that will give you practical advice and expert opinion on the quarter, and the race to the end of the year – from some of the most successful operators in the auto retail industry.

Auto Retail Live is a series of business briefings produced in partnership with Auto Trader that will run throughout 2023.


George Ashford, CEO UK, Inchcape

George was appointed as Chief Executive Officer, Inchcape Asia in October 2016. George joined the Group in March 2006 as Director of Implementation, Inchcape Advantage. In this role George led the implementation of a Group wide strategic programme putting the customer at the heart of the Group’s service initiatives. In October 2006, George was appointed Managing Director, European Retail where he led the implementation of world class retail operation programmes across the European retail network. He was also responsible for the integration of businesses acquired in the Baltics and the construction and opening of four greenfield operations in eastern Europe.

Nathan Tomlinson, Owner, Devonshire Motors

Nathan is the dealer principal and owner of multi-award winning Devonshire Motors based in Barnstaple. Nathan took over Devonshire Motors at the end of 2011, turning the business round from a six-figure loss to profit that outperforms many mid-sized groups. Devonshire Motors operates the new car franchises for Hyundai and Isuzu and additionally in aftersales for Mitsubishi and Honda.

Marc Palmer, Manufacturer & Agency Brand Director, Auto Trader

Marc’s expertise is understanding car buyers, their activities, motivations and experiences through Auto Trader’s unique data capability. From the brands they consider to the various models on their shortlists – be they performance cars, old school classics, humble hatchbacks or the latest electric vehicles, he finds interesting stories in buyer types across the UK.

He’s been with Auto Trader for four years, having spent a long time working in sales and marketing roles for some of the industry’s biggest brands – Ford, Nissan, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz provided a varied and unique insight into one of the biggest purchasing decision people will ever make.

Mike Jones, Director, Fresh Tracks

Mike is a highly experienced motor retail expert who has spent over 20 years working within the global automotive industry. Until the sale of the business, Mike was Chairman of ASE plc, During his time at ASE Mike helped automotive dealers and manufacturers around the world to drive profitability and achieve operational excellence. An expert on the global automotive industry and its changing market forces, Mike is one of the industry’s leading experts on dealer profitability and now has a portfolio of non-executive and consultative positions with motor retailers and the technology and consulting businesses that support them. He is working extensively on the impending agency changes and the impact they will have on retailer profitability.

 Al Clarke, conference chair, Auto Retail Network

Al has held senior executive roles with Ferrari, Maserati and the SMMT. Al started his career as a journalist and presenter with a decade working for the BBC and in commercial radio. He has a particular interest in the application of digital technology and connected car services in the automotive industry and regularly speaks at, and chairs events on, these issues.

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