We dropped in on our partners at Shelbourne Motor Group to talk about their dealerships’ family roots and growth into one of Northern Ireland’s leading dealerships.
In this video, Shelbourne Motor Group’s Sales Director, Paul Ward, and, Group Marketing Manager Ronan Marshall discuss:
- How they adapt to changing customer trends
- How they use reporting to measure leads and car sales from CarGurus
- How their dealership integrates CarGurus’ Pricing Tool into their everyday pricing strategy
It was a strong start to “opening week” for dealers in Scotland, as dealers there opened their doors for the first time since the Covid-19 shutdown on June 29. Leads to dealers in Scotland were trending up on CarGurus leading up to reopening, and were up 14% (indexed) week-on-week on opening day—their highest point since the shutdown began. Many dealers in Scotland and around the UK have adopted contactless services to continue to serve customers safely this summer.
As the UK reopens and pent-up demand floods the market, June car sales are likely seeing a lift. This type of spike tends to be short term, but rumors of an economic stimulus programme or vehicle scrappage scheme could result in a lift that carries into July or August. It’s the possible lack of supply that could temper car sales in the near future.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 lockdown has hit the automotive industry hard. UK dealerships were closed for just over two months in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. Typically, hundreds of thousands of used and new vehicles would have been sold during this time period.
Instead, what we’ve seen is the creation of pent-up demand from consumers who wanted to purchase a vehicle but could not do so in March and April. However, although UK leads submitted to dealers hit a low in March and fluctuate day to day, they’ve been on the rise overall ever since. This lift in leads tallies with the results of our COVID-19 Sentiment Study, which found that 87% of respondents expect to purchase a car later than they initially planned. Even more significant, only 4% of those planning to buy this year have delayed their plans indefinitely. In other words, sales will still happen this year—just a bit later than expected.
During this challenging time for UK dealerships, our focus remains on improving our partner services. Through the constant evaluation and enhancement of our products and the launch of new value-adding features like Remote Sales Solutions, we aim to constantly improve the return on investment for our dealers.
In line with this focus, we are now launching WhatsApp lead management as a free service for our UK partners. Dealerships can now communicate with car buyers via their favourite messaging app.
As with Managed Chat and Text, leads will be handled by our in-house staff. The lead is further qualified and then sent to your dealership, reducing any wasted time. The good news is that our initial test results have shown an increase in lead generation rates.
For car dealers, COVID-19 has brought on the challenge and stress of keeping business going while navigating a new normal. That kind of challenge can take a toll on a person’s mental health and wellbeing, which is why we’ve partnered with Ben, a charity dedicated to supporting the people of the automotive industry as well as their families. With Ben’s permission, we’re republishing some of their resources and tips on a variety of topics. We hope you find them useful during this unprecedented time.
In response to the UK government giving the green light for car dealerships to open on June 1st, we pooled some resources together to bring you the highlights of recent consumer research that will help inform your back to business plans. We also cover some of the ways CarGurus has innovated in response to these consumer sentiments and market changes. Watch now and if you have any questions please call 0808 501 5479.
The spread of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the UK economy. It’s driven people indoors and pushed businesses to furlough large amounts of their workforce, resulting in a recession. Additionally, the pandemic forced the closure of car dealerships for much of March and all of April, which brought the automotive sector to a near halt.
New vehicle registrations in April alone fell 97%. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), only 4,321 new cars were registered in April 2020. That’s the lowest monthly registration number since February 1946 when the UK was undergoing rationing and trying to rebuild after wartime destruction. But despite the steep decline in sales in recent months, it’s not all doom and gloom for dealers.