As we near the end of the summer, hopefully many of you will have enjoyed some sunshine with friends and family.
With well over half the year gone, we can begin to assess how 2010 has gone – and look ahead to what the rest of the year may hold in store.
It’s fair to say that it’s been a mixture of highs and lows. January got us off to a slow start, both in terms of dealer footfall and finance business. The months that followed were better than expected and dealer finance saw a resurgence, with more than half of car buyers in May using it to fund their purchase.
In July however, retail figures for the car market were down for the first time in 12 months, with a 13.2% drop.
Whether it was down to summer holidays, the World Cup or people delaying their purchase until the new registration plate, hopefully July’s figures are no more than a bump on an otherwise slow and steady journey towards recovery.
The market, however, remains in a fragile state. The increase to a 20% VAT rate in January 2011 may cause a surge in demand this winter, but Q1 next year could see weaker sales as a result.
And as consumers begin to assess what the Government’s public sector cuts will mean, they may become cautious in the second half of this year.
Of course no-one really knows what’s round the corner – the best we can do is focus on the job in hand and plan our strategies for the future. A good example of this is the Consumer Credit Directive (CCD). These changes will become mandatory for all lenders by January 31. Black Horse’s plans for implementing this are well advanced. We have a comprehensive package of training and support planned to help dealers prepare this autumn.
The training, which will be delivered by our sales teams, will include useful advice on how to incorporate CCD into your own sales processes and how to use our leading edge technology to process compliant sales more effectively.
Our aim is to keep things simple and help dealers overcome some of the complexities of the new legislation by embedding it early within our own sales process.