AM Online

Come aboard and join us

I’ve joined – if the national media is to be believed – a niche group: I’ve just bought a car. Admittedly not a new one; it’s an 18-month-old 07-plate Fiat Grande Punto.

OK, I’ll come clean. I bought it at auction, but the experience opened my eyes to the bargains that are out there for dealers to exploit.

Plenty of 12-18-month-old cars are going for less than half list price with many struggling to make CAP Clean.

A quick surf of retailer websites shows that plenty of cars in the sub-£10k category are being advertised for a mark up of £1,000 or more – plenty of margin for the dealer and still an outstanding price for the customer.

But dealers must keep stock levels as low as possible – trade lean and get out of any stock that remains unsold for 45 days or more. Cash flow is king in this trading climate.

It’s not just auction cars that offer good returns – provided, of course, the dealer buys the right car at the right price and prices any part-exchanges at the right price to move on.

Manufacturers are susceptible to strong negotiations from dealers able to take on pack deals for new or pre-registered cars.

Again, it’s about getting the cars at a price that you know you can sell on quickly for a tidy profit. And promoting them hard on websites and in the local press.

Who wouldn’t have their head turned at a low mileage 08-plate Vectra SRi advertised at just under £7,000 – almost £11,000 off original list price – or a new Ford Focus 1.6 Style for £9,995, £5,400 off list. Just two offers presently available on dealer websites.

It’s these kinds of deals, together with cashbacks, 0% finance, low interest rates, free servicing, buy now pay later, two for one offers and other innovations that will draw customers back into the showrooms. But only if they know about them.

That’s why AM is pushing the national media to promote the fact that there’s never been a better time to buy a new car.

And we want you to jump aboard. Give us your views on how we can support your industry and help you to bring customers back into the showroom – email me at

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