Although I’m sorely tempted to roll out the phrase “carmageddon” again it feels it might be a tad premature. Although the guides have taken it upon themselves to decimate used car values there are still pockets of good news out there. One of the problems, as one sales manager explained to me, is that it was such an unexpectedly great year last year that budgets have been written to reflect that growth and this year there was never any real possibility of matching those numbers with cuts biting deep as the coalition government get to grips with the economy.
The good news for punters is that now prices have corrected and possibly bottomed out there will be some awfully attractive used cars for sale and some equally attractive manufacturer backed discounts on new cars.
In an effort to stimulate the market and entice buyers out from their hiding places there will be some fierce competition for your money but strangely there does appear to be two separate markets.
For example the small economical £2-£5k car is still fetching a premium, like the Fiesta, Polo, Corsa and Clio etc and the high spec, top end models in many ranges are also demanding an individual price which blatantly defies what the guides are saying. As a result smart dealers are ignoring the normal run of the mill basic fodder and making their margins from the cars with the unique selling proposition.
Many car dealers are starting to feel the heat and it’s about this time that the run of the mill, average sales people who look good when business is booming get the classifieds out and start looking for alternative careers selling houses or mobile phones. In the long run it will leave us with a better quality of sales exec who can juggle the demands of great customer service with making a profit for the company purely because they are rather good at it.
The point was brought home to me by a friend who has just taken delivery of his brand new BMW with all the toys which I arranged through a dealer contact, and yes I did get him a great deal (and did not demand a cup of tea for myself) but more importantly he said that the treatment he received on collecting his new car was nothing short of amazing and has restored his faith in car dealers. His wife received flowers and the staff bent over backwards to ensure that the large sum of money he spent was acknowledged and he will be more than happy to recommend friends to the dealer. This, I suppose saves me a job and he may even get the drinks in next time we meet.
On a final note with less buying customers about the ones that do buy need the red carpet treatment in the hope that they will refer others if the package is top class.
When confidence does return to the market the ones left standing may all appreciate what it’s like to operate in a really tough market!