More than half of dealers have positive expectations for their used car sales and aftersales activities during 2012, according to a new survey from Experian.
Of the 128 dealers surveyed, 62% predicted that their used car sales activities would grow in 2012, despite 22% stating that a shortage of good quality used cars was the biggest challenge facing their business this year. Just 38% of dealers expected new car sales volumes to increase.
Selling vehicles profitably was highlighted as one of the biggest challenges, with 23% agreeing. A further 17% said identifying and reaching suitable customers was their biggest problem.
Just over half (55%) are expected to grow their aftersales activity this year. Customer loyalty has also been far greater amongst those that had previously purchased a new car with 70% of new car customers returning for servicing or repair, compared to just 14% of used car buyers.
Alistair Scullion, Experian’s Automotive business in the UK and Ireland managing director, said: “Our survey suggests that the sales environment for new cars continues to be a significant challenge and dealers are adapting their businesses accordingly.
“Optimism around used car sales and aftersales activities is encouraging. It is clear that dealerships recognise that there are growth opportunities for those of them that can react quickly to changing market dynamics, while reaching customers with the right offer and fostering customer loyalty to keep them coming back to the dealership.”