With the snow being blamed (perhaps unfairly) for the lacklustre performance of many car retailing businesses in January, it appears that car sales in February are compensating and rapidly gaining pace.
The lack of stock is already starting to have an effect, and the auction houses are reporting high conversions.
There seems to be strong demand for both new and used cars, with many buyers are taking advantage of the extension of the scrappage scheme. Many used car buyers are also finding themselves at the right end of a good deal as dealers look to dispose of their ageing stock.
The irony is that cars which are currently being sold at sale prices may be difficult to source again at the same price in the trade leaving many buyers eventually facing the prospect of higher retail prices.
Strangely, as one dealer told us last week, there is no way of judging when or why there has been the sudden upsurge in footfall and sales, but there is no doubt it is good when it comes.
A lot of long established facts about car retailing are being turned on their heads though and that means sales managers and the business owners themselves need to be on top of developing trends. To sell 9 cars on a Thursday and 3 on a Saturday probably proves that buying cars, mainly due to the surging power of the internet, is fast becoming a 24 hour a day, 7 days per week and 365 days a year business.
Car buyers these days are just not sticking to the traditional buying patterns but doing their business at a time which ultimately suits them.
Whatever way the cars are sold, as long as dealers are equipped to offer the service when required, it might even end up meaning a car dealer employing only a skeleton staff at weekends.
If you are a salesperson looking forward to a round of golf on a Saturday afternoon please don’t hold your breath, the car trade won’t change that quickly.
Well it certainly hasn’t so far.
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