With the excitement of the Euro Championships followed by the Olympics and a sprinkling of Diamond jubilee there will be lots going on in the UK this year. However, in the car trade, especially for dealers in the south of the country, it is likely to be a nightmare.
It usually means that people are attending the events, staying at home and watching the events or flying out of the country to escape the events, either way the only guaranteed winners are the food and alcohol retailers who are probably stocking up as we speak. Of course although during these times it is likely that not a lot of cars will be sold those buyers will likely only be deferring the purchase to a different time of the year so in theory there shouldn’t be any less cars sold, and you never know if we actually win something it might even be a boost for the economy!
The situation could in actual fact take care of itself given that later in the year there are likely to be fewer used cars around and if demand is lower anyway then there should not be a significant drop off in potential business and prices should remain fairly strong.
Although buyers are looking for VFM and want to save money by downgrading, in terms of what buyers are looking for – and referring to our recent piece on the specification explosion – the feeling is that car buyers are reluctant, once they have previously enjoyed a certain spec level, to compromise on the next car. This is making it difficult for dealers who have to hunt down very specific cars.
For example we have heard of many cases where heated seats, iPods, Bluetooth, electric sunroofs, centre arm rests and even electric seats have become “must haves” on even run of the mill used cars.
In the future of course – as we have alluded to – even the lead in (“poverty model”) cars are likely to come with generous specification as standard and therefore the next generation of drivers are in for a real treat and immediate comfort and driving pleasure.
Unlike those of us who thought that power steering was a luxury and an air bag was just code for and annoying spouse!