It’s ironic that the lead up to Christmas is the one of the quietest of times in a car showroom with lots of sales execs and service advisors twiddling their thumbs or putting out the crimbo decs.
Let’s face it we are pretty easy to read in this country; the high street shops – possibly for the only time this year – are actually packed out and the surrounding car parks are in meltdown, so getting a good deal on a car or having a go at getting your service price reduced is probably the thing to do right now, especially if like some of my family you have completed all your Christmas shopping in July!
Certainly for people with lots of time on their hands, unlike waiting for the official sales to kick in around boxing day, there are deals to be had right now as dealers are desperate to hit their end of year targets and as everyone in the trade knows, wholesale prices will leap ahead in the new year as demand once again outstrips supply.
I was speaking recently with a general manager for a large dealer group who said that because they have certain end of year working capital targets to work to they were only allowed to stock a certain amount of used cars, and due to the decline in footfall and the shortness of the month due to the holidays this makes sense on the face of it. However his point is that to acquire similar cars to the ones he has now could cost him up to a staggering £1000 per unit more in January because many car dealers carry out similar end of year de-stocking exercises which does, on the whole, sound like some form of madness.
Despite the doom and gloom many car dealers have told us that they have still managed to make some money and more importantly not had to lose any staff. So the basics of keeping staff engaged with choosy customers who demand more for their hard earned money is clearly a policy that will stand businesses in good stead whilst we desperately seek that little chink of light at the end of this seemingly never ending tunnel.