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Red Zebra boss to rely on user trust

The edges between the new, nearly-new and used car sectors are blurring as dealers take more business from private sellers, according to Mitsubishi general manager of fleet and used cars Matthew Cheyne.

He believes used car dealers must develop their brand to create trust and customer loyalty in the sector, which is growing in value.

“The strength of the brand is now more significant for used cars than new,” said Mr Cheyne at the Automotive Management spring conference, 'Used car crossroads'.

He predicts that eventually the industry will consist of an “elite band of new car sellers”, with the used market divided between nearly-new dealers and retailers of older vehicles.

“The consumer will become a lifetime user, not a car owner, with the used market mirroring new-car PCPs, locking the customer into the marque,” said Mr Cheyne.

“Ownership will become a liability. Dealers will need to provide a value-added holistic approach, which includes aftersales.” He added: “The used car market of tomorrow belongs to dealers with the strongest brands, not the private market. Volumes won't change dramatically, but there will be huge changes in the way cars are sold.”

Mitsubishi launched the Red Zebra scheme, which replaced its Diamond plan, last year in order to help used dealers “attach real value to each vehicle” and is designed to control residuals, enhance brand values and act as a selling tool for dealers.

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