WELCOME TO INDEPENDENT DEALER AUTUMN
Few independent dealers can have missed the recent mishap in the SMMT’s reporting of the quarterly used car market, widely covered in the trade press and national media.
One moment the market was down significantly in a mirror image of the new car market. The next – after an incorrect algorithm was fixed – it was flat.
What the turnabout did reveal was a lack of concrete, official information about the health of the used car trade. The best we have, it seems, is SMMT analysis of DVLA data concerning “transactions”.
Alternatives include the major auction groups reporting their annual sales volumes, although these will include stock re-entered after failing to sell on forecourts and problem cars that bounce from pillar to post.
And missing from this picture are the cars traded directly between independent dealers, many of which are so small they don’t have to report full annual accounts.
So as long as you cannot see the full national picture, it will remain crucial for you to observe your local marketplace, to gain insights from your peers and suppliers, and to apply industry best practice that will make your business stronger.
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