I have been in the automotive retail for too long to admit and, historically, have always enjoyed March because I can gush about plate change.
This year, though, it might as well have not existed. Supply of new cars remains very tight and, due to the Ukrainian situation, is going to get worse before it gets better. Apparently 22 companies have invested over $600 million, in 38 plants, employing over 60,000 people – all of which will be part of just in time manufacturing. VAG Group get the bulk of their wiring looms from the Ukraine and have had to stop production. These looms won’t be replaced quickly.
What about the used car market? We’re definitely seeing some softening of demand but, due to lack of stock (especially in the 0-2 year area), this is not affecting margins or profitability. So all is positive. However, where I do urge caution is keeping an eye on your enquiry management processes. If your enquiries are dropping, then it’s all the more important that you look after each prospect properly.
I’ve been doing some really interesting work with my customers – looking at the percentage of calls that are getting onto their lead management system (LMS). On average, we’re finding that 45% of unique calls do not make it onto the LMS. Are you really confident your team are managing and recording their sales calls properly?
If you feel your leads are drying up on your LMS, it’s probably not a market problem, but a process issue. Do get in touch with your concerns, and I can explain a simple and effective way of identifying this challenge.
Headline Autotrader figures
- 2021 stock, MoM 12.5% increase, YoY 39.5% decrease
- 2020 stock MoM 4.9% increase, YoY 34.7% decrease
- Total market MoM 4.0% increase, YoY 11.0% decrease
Top 5 brands by market share of 2021 stock
- VW 11.2%
- BMW 11.0%
- Audi 10.9%
- Mercedes 6.5%
- Ford 6.4%
Have a fun April and I hope you get some time off over Easter.