“CarLand will still concentrate on what it does well, and that is selling used cars averaging two to four years old. However, to get incremental growth we have to look at areas where we don’t operate at the moment,” says Ian Allen, who was previously at the helm of competitor Motorhouse 2000.
Allen wants all of CarLand’s six sites – Cannock, Chertsey, Enfield, Glasgow, Lakeside and Manchester – to begin retailing pre-registered, ex-demonstration and ex-manufacturer fleet cars by the end of the year. He also plans to add used light commercial vehicles to its forecourts early in 2007.
Aftersales represents another untapped opportunity to Allen, who is examining the possibility of offering servicing at CarLand outlets in the medium to long term. He says: “With the size of our sites and the facilities we have, it would make sense to have service facilities that will keep us in touch with our customers.”
Allen’s second short term goal is to raise CarLand’s profile with consumers. Staff are about to embark on a programme entitled Through The Customer’s Eyes. This has been prompted by clinics with CarLand customers. Allen says their feedback was “very positive”, but highlighted a few areas for improvement.
Under Allen’s leadership, Motorhouse 2000 opened its two sites in Mansfield and Cannock, and grew turnover to more than £120m.