It’s the end of a rather turbulent September for most in the car business. There are those, especially in the main agent world, who are well short of their new car targets even with some last minute pack deals.
There are also independent sellers who have struggled to locate suitable stock at competitive prices and even those that did have found a buying public hesitating to make a decision, even when faced with the right car at the right price.
The general consensus seems to be that the last quarter will be as hard as it always is and perhaps just a bit harder this year and although there will clearly not be the influx of stock in the used arena, late lead times will bring more part exchanges to the market later than usual. However, possibly due to when they were actually valued, they may not be attractive enough for wholesale or private buyers to participate in at auction.
Most dealers we spoke to said that they are preparing to roll up their sleeves for the long hard autumn and winter, hoping that what reduced demand there is will be maximised in their dealerships.
Margins will be under pressure and getting the pricing right to attract potential buyers will be crucial for gaining footfall and the subsequent opportunity to try and maximise profits through add-ons and promotions.
There are many sales events happening around now with some great dealer led reductions and incentives but there will also be the traditional sales at Christmas so buyers will need to think carefully about when they make their buying decision. Buyers will also need to think hard about the actual car they buy and not get caught up just focused on the ‘price’ rather than what is the best car for their needs.
Battle hardened car retailers are more than prepared to rally the troops for the final push and the fun and games that await us all next year.