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Car ads policy puts Peter Vardy ahead

Peter Vardy Ltd has overhauled its used car strategy to ensure the business continues to perform in the difficult trading conditions.

The group, which has opened a new £5 million Vauxhall/Chevrolet showroom in Motherwell and launched a new website, is offering less product but being more focused in its advertisement campaigns.

It has dropped used car listings-style adverts in local papers and, instead, is placing adverts in the Scottish nationals that emphasise specific cash incentives and finance deals.

Used car stock has been cut from 110 cars to 55 across its three Vauxhall sites with the focus on Vectra, Corsa and Astra. They now account for 70-80% of used sales, with stock turn of twice a month.

“You have to manage your stock properly or get out of business,” said group chief executive Peter Vardy.

His new car marketing policy mirrors his used car stance – focused ads that are constantly repeated.

“For new you have to sit down with the manufacturer and see what their problem stock is – then you work out the finance deals, get the supply and promote it,” he said.

“We’ve done the same Corsa diesel ad since August and 70% of the cars we’ve sold are that car.”

Peter Vardy Ltd is still hitting 140% of Vauxhall’s target every month, achieving full bonus on new cars.

Its new Motherwell dealership will provide another fillip, and adds the Chevrolet franchise for the first time.

Chevrolet is an unknown, although Vardy said: “I met the MD (Rory Harvey) and was blown away by the new products that are coming in 2010. It’s a cheaper brand than Vauxhall and that is good for Motherwell.”

He is excited about the new website which has more content than the old site and is updated daily. The focus is on new cars.

Despite recently making 10 people redundant after restructuring of its BMW dealership in Fife, Vardy is still keen to grow next year.

“We’re no different to anyone else – you have got to get the cost base right,” he said.
“We still want to grow but at a pace that allows the culture to grow with us.”

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