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Franchise dealers “must gain expertise” to take advantage of Motability growth

Franchise dealers need to acquire new skills to take advantage of rapid growth in Motability new car sales, according to Network Automotive Management.

Motability sales, which currently make up 6% of the UK new car market, have been recently boosted by efforts to make the Motability sector more accessible. Measures have included more affordable lease prices, extended mileage allowance, the inclusion of mobility aid damage in fair wear and tear guidelines, and free fitting of new tyres.

As a result, January 2004 saw the number of new contract hire customers coming onto the scheme almost double compared to the same month last year, and the total number of customers increased by an average of 15% annually in the first three months of this year.

Frank Lord, interim managing director at Network Automotive Management, which last month became part of motoring services supplier The Bridewell Group plc, says: “There are many dealers out there who are unenthusiastic about Motability and are turning their backs on a worthwhile sector of the new car market that is growing rapidly.

“The main problem for franchise dealers is that many do not have the necessary skills to sell to Motability customers. It is a specialist market and it does require specialist knowledge. However, those who are willing to make the effort to learn consistently reap worthwhile rewards.”

Lord states that most dealers do not possess the knowledge needed to sell Motability vehicles to customers. Network Automotive Management aims to provide support to manufacturers and provide the skills needed to boost Motability sales.

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