Many car dealers are reporting brisk traffic and positive sales data, the auctions are cranking up and there appears to be plenty of buyers. Although there is still a fair degree of caution in the air, and dealers are taking nothing for granted, it is certainly good to get things back on track after the unexpected lull.
The scrappage scheme could take a bit of last minute managing however as there will inevitably be more than a few disappointed customers who have placed orders which may have missed the cut off point and this will be a big problem for dealers who may not have not communicated this very well.
On the plus side the goodwill created by the scrappage scheme will hopefully keep potential buyers interested and curious enough to at least enquire about any good deals to be had, and then it is down to the dealers to get to work and try to capture the business.
We have already seen evidence that 2010 promises to be an almost constant round of sales events, promotions and special offers which as long as they do not get too diluted should provide buyers with plenty to think about.
People in the trade are still baffled as to why buyers are reluctant to commit to an appointment until they have gathered every last scintilla of information and compared, recomputed, digested and cogitated all the options, and though this can cause frustration for sales teams with monthly targets to hit, this kind of car buying behaviour is here to stay and the car industry better get used to it.
Customers have been empowered like never before and want to (and will in many circumstances) take the car buying process as far as possible without having to sit across the desk from a car salesperson. Car dealers who are doing the job properly, and have the patience to accept that buyers have a lot of information to digest, will be able to adapt and continue to sell many cars.
The days of buyers walking in and saying ‘I’ll have that one’ may still happen but these days they will have already spent many hours whittling down the choice in the comfort of their own homes (or workplace – IT department willing) before salespeople get the opportunity to sell them something else.