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Dealers may only retail half the new cars sold in the UK by 2010 - survey

Dealers could see their dominance of the UK car market cut dramatically by the end of the decade as new entrants like supermarkets slice into their market share. However, the focus on aftersales and financial services is likely to intensify due to falling margins on new car sales strengthening relationships between carmakers and dealers.

A survey of industry experts by consultancy firm Accenture found most analysts expected dealers' share of the new car market to fall to 53 per cent by 2010. Its report, Auto 2010 UK, says dealers will face growing pressure to adopt new retail methods to satisfy consumer demands and fight off competition from supermarket chains and virtual retailers, particularly as block exemption reform will have opened the market.

Multi-branded premises, similar to the Charles Hurst dealership in Northern Ireland which has eight franchises on one site, will become more common. Accenture also predicts that carmakers will increasingly outsource production to mainstream suppliers over the next eight years, focusing instead on marketing and brand management.

They will use disparate specialists in each part of the manufacturing process who will contribute to creating one product.

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