Staring into a political black hole
13 March 2017
At a time when consumers might be thinking twice about buying a new diesel car, the mainstream medias focus on emissions, air quality and the price of fuel at the pump conveniently omits one very important link in the car buying chain: the auto retailer.
So what if your latest prospective buyer – be it a business customer or individual – is getting cold feet over committing to diesel? You can always steer him or her towards a shiny new petrol model. Problem solved.
If only the situation on the used forecourt was as simple.
Its fair to say that theres a lot more uncertainty surrounding the fate of used values in the current climate. The Chancellor may not have explicitly signalled that new legislation is coming to favour petrol and low emissions alternative fuelled cars, but if you read between the lines and countless post-Budget analysis stories in the media its implied that something is being formulated.
And its this level of uncertainty thats possibly worse than seeing something in black and white. Consumers hate uncertainty. Retailers hate it even more. The inability to forecast, plan and budget for the next month, quarter or year ahead is just One More Thing you can do without.
The harsh reality is that you could be watching the value slowly draining away from your diesel-powered used stock, purely based on media speculation and the enthusiastic noises of Londons scrappage-happy mayor. Ah yes, the s word. Westminsters so far kept quiet on that hot topic, but dont expect its silence to last for long.
There are parallels with the April VED change here. A government announcement designed to influence consumer behaviour, but lacking the all-important details, leading to consumer and retailer confusion. Youve got admit, successive governments are certainly consistent when it comes such actions.
Auto Retail Network