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Renault rethinks used car scheme

Renault is planning a major review of its used car scheme. A pilot programme is being implemented this year before a roll-out across the dealer network by the end of 2005.

The carmaker is looking for two used car development managers to work with selected dealers to create business plans. These will concentrate on reorganising the network's used car operations to maximise sales and boost revenue.

Renault has seen significant market share growth over the past three years thanks mainly to increases in fleet business. Now the French carmaker wants to ensure it controls residual values while helping dealers to grow profits from used cars by revitalising the approved programme.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, used car sales in 2003 reached a record 7.5m units – up 5.4%. And the CAP performance indicator says dealers are confident that growth will continue in 2004.

Customer expectations of approved used car schemes are becoming more demanding, says Network Automotive Management, which assists manufacturers and importers in putting together the infrastructure.

Vehicle remarketing is becoming ever more important to manufacturers because there is over supply in both the new and used car markets, according to NAM sales director Lance Jenkins.

“The challenge is to make used cars attractive enough so that profitable dealer stock keeps on moving, giving new car sales the room to stay healthy,” Jenkins says. He adds a position has now been reached where many customers expected manufacturers' approved used cars to offer almost everything that a new model does. “Manufacturers need to ensure their approved used car scheme meets customer expectations. It's that simple – but some don't.”

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