- January 2, 2019
- Posted by: Kari Jones
- Category: Tips For Dealers
As we welcome in the new year, now is the time to think about a plan of action to ensure 2019 brings your dealership prosperity!
2018 was a great year for used car sales, with demand for preowned vehicles overtaking demand for new vehicles by miles. Despite modest sales volumes in December, this trend is set to continue in the 2019. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has predicted a decline of 2.4% in new car registrations in 2019, so we can expect even more competition in the used car sector.
There are a number of factors which may impact vehicle dealers this year, including the continuing effects of WLTP, Brexit, the new Making Tax Digital for VAT regulations being implemented this April and increased demand for used vehicles resulting in supply shortages. These factors could make 2019 a challenging year, so it is important to be prepared for market fluctuations.
1. Consider Alternative Routes for Obtaining Stock
As if sourcing quality used cars and vans wasn’t difficult enough, the industry is currently facing an extreme shortage of these vehicles, there is simply not enough to meet the high levels of demand. If your traditional sources prove to be insufficient in 2019, you’ll want to have a backup plan in place.
Many dealers are turning to classifieds, while others are acquiring lower grade stock. The latter is certainly a viable option, but you will require additional resources for the refurbishment process, so if you choose this route, make sure that you have a strategy in place to handle this, so that the number of days vehicles spend in stock does not become a serious problem.
2. Try New Things
With each year, the automotive industry becomes more modern, and investing in new technologies and digital marketing is not only a smart move, but a necessary one to keep your dealership ahead of the competition and meeting customer expectations.
Remember, in April, you will need to do away with paper-based processes for recording tax, replacing them with HMRC-approved digital methods. This is a good time to think about other areas of your business in which processes may need updating.
3. Train Yourself and Your Team
If you are unsure of where to start with updating your dealership’s processes, Click Dealer is offering a free Webinar Series throughout 2019, in which a number of our experts will be sharing knowledge about digital solutions for vehicle dealers. The series kicks off with a Social Media session on January 9th, hosted by our own Social Media Manager, Joe Podmore.
As well as learning new things, it is equally important that all members of your team are trained to deliver the same standard of service. As the new year begins, this may be an ideal time to refresh staff on your company values, strategies and processes so that consistent service is assured.
4. Value Your Customers
It is not all about trying new things, putting your customers first is a tip that will always be relevant and something that you should constantly remind yourself and your team of, as customers are what keep your business running!
When you devise your strategy each quarter, make sure that it is centred around your customers; before investing in new lead generation tactics, ensure that you will be able to respond quickly and efficiently; and when customers come into your dealership, they should be treated with respect and leave satisfied so that their experience is excellent from start to finish.
5. Stay Flexible
With so many variables, no one can say for sure how this year will turn out for vehicle dealers and the best thing you can do is be ready to adapt. Keep an eye on market trends and conduct performance reports on a regular basis; full visibility of how well certain vehicles are selling, and sales margins can help you identify where to target resources.
Happy New Year from everyone here at Click Dealer!