With all the negativity in the world of new car sales coming off the back of an encouraging end to 2009 the last thing the business needs is a prolonged cold snap.
What is it about this country? The rest of the world must be laughing their heads off at us at the way we completely capitulate under a bit of snowy weather.
The usual great start to car retailing in January has been curtailed with customers cancelling test drives and being unwilling to collect their car until the weather improves. Car dealer workshops have closed along with factories and call centres. Whoever you speak to in the trade first wants to discuss the snow and how many no-shows they have had and discussing cars comes a very poor second and there is a good chance that January’s new car sales figures will be adversely affected too.
The problem, of course, is that if this continues there is a real chance that targets will not be met and genuine sales promotions will have to be cancelled due to lack of access. We can only hope that those customers who have deferred any decision until the weather improves will still have the same enthusiasm to purchase and dealers will quickly switch on to the fact that there is likely to be quite a backlog in the workshops.
Some of the guys I have been speaking to have manfully tried to clear snow from their cars on display but have manly succeeded in preparing them for a fresh downfall, customers are as a rare as hens teeth and for once it is an extended holiday everyone could do without.
Because, like we all say, the snow looks great when it first lands and is untouched and magical but after that it quickly becomes boring and depressing especially if your business relies on consumers buying big ticket items like cars.
Now who is going to say a prayer and ask for it to warm up so we can get back to normal?