The storm before the lull is how one of our car dealer colleagues describes what is happening at present. He suggests that the rise in showroom traffic and unseasonably high sales order take is basically down to squeezing the last bit of goodness from the success story of last two years. With all the offers about and the hype surrounding the VAT increase he is saying that showrooms could be ghost towns in January as all the buyers will have left town.
Personally I think it will be more of a regional affair and the strength of the brand a dealer represents. It will certainly be more challenging for dealers to effectively manage their stock next year to combat falling showroom traffic, and stock profiling will become a necessity for dealers trying to respond to what their potential customers are searching for.
In the car retailing world it is always the best idea, at times like this, to treat each month as it comes, get your head down work hard and just try to make it happen.
Looking to the future in car sales does not necessarily extend even 2 months; such is the ebb and flow of business. The traditional peaks and troughs no longer seem to exist and predicting when the business will be busiest is no more simple than a restaurant knowing when they will be fully booked.
Whereas Saturday used to be the be all and end all (if you didn’t have at least 3 qualified appointments you weren’t allowed to come to work) some dealers now tell us that Sunday is the new Saturday and sometimes Friday can be better than the whole weekend combined!
The internet has changed everything and gives the car buyer so much flexibility which car dealers are only too keen to promote. What they need to be able to do is match that flexibility with the service
so if a customer wants to buy a car late on a Sunday evening or early on a Wednesday the dealership needs to have the resource in place to cater.
Although solicitors are still lucky enough to close for an hour’s lunch everyday the car trade can never sleep, which is why ultimately I believe that we will survive and prosper and the lull after the storm might just not materialize.