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Dealer Spotlight with Swansway Group

Posted by Andrew Dooley on November 12, 2020

At CarGurus, we believe our dealers have valuable stories and insights worth sharing. Today, we’re featuring Swansway Group.  

The History

Michael Smyth founded Swansway Group in 2003 along with his three sons, David, John, and Peter, all of whom are motor industry born and bred. Swansway has grown and thrived in the intervening years with a range of approved dealership franchises covering Audi, Jaguar, Honda, Land Rover, Peugeot, SEAT, Volkswagen, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, as well as a state-of-the-art accident repair centre.

The Challenge

Swansway was looking for a stronger return on investment from its lead generation platforms while also aiming for better tracking and fewer missed leads. Then, when Covid-19 struck, what had been a more gradual approach to online retailing became the number-one priority.

“Digital was down the pecking order. But ever since lockdown, it’s right at the top,” according to Director John Smyth.

The Approach

Swansway went from using a limited number of platforms to adapting a broader approach, which included CarGurus and PistonHeads. The retailer also changed the staffing structure by creating a new role of digital merchandiser. With at least one per site, these team members were tasked with making sure the used car stock was displayed effectively online.

“Our used car pitch is now online. We go into massive detail around how we digitally market our cars because, let’s face it, if the customer is doing research online, they need to know all the information,” explains Smyth.

To help track and retain the leads generated by CarGurus, Swansway integrated an API system that did away with information re-keying and, as a result, leads being missed. Swansway’s Marketing Manager Anna Ling adds, “As digital enquiries have grown and grown, we were really keen to push these through API directly into the enquiry management system. We collaborated with CarGurus to get that done, so all CarGurus digital enquiries now go directly into the enquiry management systems.”

Measuring the Impact

Since partnering with CarGurus to send leads through API, Swansway has seen an increase in both quantity and accuracy of lead logging; resulting in a massive increase in ROI.

“Leads are getting logged accurately, that means we follow them up through our CRM process and you see a direct impact on sales conversion,” says Ling.

And the results from CarGurus have been impressive. “We are looking for a return on our investment. I think CarGurus gives us our best return on investment,” according to Smyth.

Ling backs this up further: “There are two things in particular for me that stand out about CarGurus. Firstly, it’s the transparency to customers. CarGurus has been leading the market in terms of pricing transparency, so I always feel that it has the customer’s best interests at heart. The other thing I really value about CarGurus is that it is completely focused on delivering return on investment for us. And that’s what we talk about most with our account manager. It’s never about just how many enquiries or how much visibility, it’s all about the quality, and delivering that return on investment.”

After successfully working with CarGurus for two years, Swansway has recently moved from the Enhanced package to the Featured package to further boost results. “Stock visibility increased by 35% the day we went live with the Featured package,” according to Ling.

To learn more about the features and products available to your dealership to help optimise your CarGurus partnership and connect with more highly engaged buyers, speak with your account manager today on 0808 196 5521 or visit

Topics: customer success story, dealer profile, dealer spotlight