Topic: dealer insights
This is a repost of an article that originally appeared on our CarGurus blog.
Around the globe, many car factories continue to lay dormant as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Offices that would usually be occupied by staff managing all facets of the automotive trade, from parts acquisition to finance, are still empty. In many places—including the UK—dealerships have been shuttered, garages closed, and auctions silenced. Only limited services remain, to ensure those who need to stay mobile can.
This near shutdown of the global automotive industry, which began in earnest in March, has presented many with a rapidly changing and unpredictable situation. It’s resulted in dramatic and sweeping actions that have led businesses and private individuals alike into uncharted territory. This, coupled with continued unknowns about the new coronavirus itself, poses many questions for the future.
It was nearly impossible to have a conversation about the future of any industry in the UK in 2019 without mentioning Brexit. Despite that big, unknown headwind, UK car dealers are optimistic about 2020.
Built around a survey of more than 700 independent and franchised used car dealers and our annual Dealer Council meeting, the second-annual CarGurus One Voice Report examines the topics set to be key to car retailer performance in 2020.
Headline first quarter car sales figures look disappointing, but they mask a more nuanced story and lots of interesting insights for dealers
As many dealers will be aware, first quarter used car sales figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) showed a decline of nearly 5% compared to the same period in 2017.
The headline figure looks like a blow, but the wider picture is far less negative. For a start, it’s worth pointing out that although 5% is a significant fall, there were still over two million used cars sold in the first three months of 2018.
On top of that, the decline was not across the board. The detail behind the headlines—and in supporting evidence from other sources—provides some telling insight that proactive dealers can use to their advantage.