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'Vigorous' future - Pulham

Alan Pulham, National Franchiseds Dealer Assocation director is forecasting a multi-faceted motor retail sector within five years, based on dealer networks.

Mr Pulham will speak at 'Motor retailing 2005', the Automotive Management autumn conference on September 26 at London Olympia, chaired by Garel Rhys of Cardiff Business School.

“In 2005, I expect a vigorous car retailing sector,” Mr Pulham said. “The 'virtual companies' have found a place in the market but I believe they will become integrated into the existing retail structure.”

Virgin Cars is the most high-profile of the new entrants and chief executive Ian Lancaster will also be a speaker. Mark Squires, chief executive of Benfield, which took gold for larger dealer group in the 1999 Automotive Management Awards, is to speak. He believes there is a sound future for car retailing, based on working closely with carmakers.

David Barker, of the Mountainview advertising agency, will give a viewpoint on the conflict of the brand power of manufacturers, dealers and newcomers such as Virgin. Prof Rhys believes franchised dealers can retain most of their business if they are receptive to new ideas. He will brief delegates on the latest trends in global car building, putting the UK market into context.

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