According to many different dealers across all regions, there appears to be 2 different markets with regards to new car sales. On the one hand you hear daily stories where new cars are being virtually given away and on the other customers are confused by some dealers actually saying no to any large discount. The feedback we are getting seems to be that with the pre-Christmas news pictures of air-strips, compounds and boats full of unsold cars fresh in the mind, those cars having been built not necessarily to a particular specification, are the cars that manufacturers and dealers are most keen to shift. With model changes and specification upgrades becoming a more regular occurrence these models can become ‘old’ versions very quickly and if a customer is willing to be flexible and compromise on the exact colour and specification, a fantastic deal can be had. However on the other hand if the car has to be exactly to the customer’s specific requirements – and let’s face it many buyers want their new car to be somewhat personalised – then clearly the deal is nowhere near as good.
Of course it will also depend on which brand of car is chosen, some like Vauxhall, Ford, Saab, Nissan etc will probably be keen to ‘deal’ on anything such is their quest to trade their way out of the downturn, whilst others such as VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini and Toyota etc would probably be prepared to negotiate on selected stock but would be unlikely to entertain ‘crazy’ deals on factory ordered cars.
By understanding which category the car a potential customer wishes to buy is in will at least determine whether they will then be buying the car of their choice or the best deal they can get, which are two entirely different approaches.
The same distinction between manufacturers can be made with regard to the UK scrappage scheme. With participation in the scheme being discretionary and requiring a 50 percent contribution to the incentive it is difficult to see what benefits there will be for the stronger car makers other than PR.