Our Blog: One door closes, another might open

  23 April 2018

Vauxhall first, who will be next?

Some dealers at other franchises I’ve spoken to this week have shrugged off the termination news, saying it’s what the trade does periodically to streamline the network.

Possibly, but with the buying and selling of cars changing so fundamentally in the past decade, I wonder if there is more to it.

Vauxhall may be a little different after its takeover by PSA and a falling market share; cutting the network and moving closer to PSA franchises makes sense but are other manufacturers starting to think along the same lines?

In the short term some tough negotiations on stocking, (build us hybrids, not diesels!) on quarterly targets and bonuses will provide some breathing space for the franchises for many as the new car market struggles but longer term it must be questionable if manufacturers will continue paying into what increasingly looks like an expensive and out-of-date way of selling cars.

I worked in regional newspapers for nearly 30 years and that industry was smashed by people turning away from print to online news and the advertisers following them.

Faced with falling circulation and revenue, survival was through merger. In a couple of brutal years it led to far fewer titles, more centralised production processes and consolidation into bigger and fewer groups but crucially, groups with substantially lower costs.

So what’s different with the motor trade?

In today’s world where consumers research and choose their product on-line, the journey between manufacturer and the end customer will only and always get shorter.

Look at what happened to so many well-known high street names who operated on the same model as dealers of being wholesalers in buying their stock, retailers when selling it.

And in the meantime what of those dealers, Vauxhall or otherwise, looking a few years ahead and not liking what they see?

Well, some of the smaller players will be looking to expand their networks and might welcome enquiries from Vauxhall outlets. There could be scope for less well-known brands to do the same and looking for someone to sell their cars.

Chinese, anyone?

Start your free 14 day trial

Get free access to our Bulletin, Agenda & Profit for 14 days.

After 14 days we will auto bill your credit or debit card unless the order is cancelled.

As an auto retail executive you need insightful and unique industry intelligence to boost your business potential. Here’s a taste of what Auto Retail Network has to offer:

  • Get informed and boost your business potential
  • More than 1,200 fellow executives have joined us
    since launch
  • Independent, carefully crafted, unique content relevant to you and your business
  • Develop a greater awareness of market trends and opportunities
  • Access to a wide range of materials whenever, wherever and however you want it
  • Significant discounts on ARN events, reports and
    other publications