I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but after a very quiet week, according to sources in the trade last weekend exploded. The new VAT percentage rate didn’t kick in until Monday the 1st, so can it really be anything to do with that?
Who really knows why people suddenly do or don’t buy cars, it has long been a belief in the trade that half-terms, certain sporting events and sometimes fantastic weather which was not expected can have a detrimental effect on car sales.
In times gone by, for instance when the new car registrations changed once a year in August , most sales staff would take their holiday in July as this was obviously the lull before the storm. But when the system became 2 registration changes per year the excitement of buying the first of the latest registrations became diluted. Salespeople who were around then will recount tales of being in work at 11pm on the 31st of July and booking customers in from 12am on the 1st August just to be among the first to display the new registration number. Indeed some will tell of handing over 35 cars in one day and earning as much money in August as the rest of the year put together.
Those days though are long gone and when dealers suddenly sell lots of cars or even particular types of car they no longer try and identify this as a trend because there seems no rhyme or reason to buying patterns these days. Most sales teams learn to enjoy the good times when they come along and keep them in mind when they have to spend the whole of a rainy Sunday staring into space waiting for a customer to come in and spend some time with them.
So was last weekend really that successful? Well it certainly was for some of the dealers that I have spoken to but it’s certainly not the same across the board. So is it down to geography or the strength of a brand?
I put it down to good old fashioned hard work; with fewer customers around and these customers having less money to spend the salesperson that is prepared to take the time and make the effort to engage with a potential customer is probably thinking there is no recession. The salespeople who aren’t selling cars need to be asking if there is anything else they can do because cars are definitely being sold elsewhere.
So will the VAT effect help sell more cars next weekend? Make up your own mind!