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An online solution

Despite economic concerns, SMMT figures showed a 0.5% year on year rise for new car registrations for March 2008, reaching 451,642 units.

While registration figures suggest a stable market, sceptics have argued that at a time when consumer spending is declining, the rise is more a result of pre-registrations than forecourt sales.

It’s difficult to put an exact figure on the size of this part of the market, but dealers are known to be offering significant discounts on new vehicles.

Figures from Autoleadsolutions.co.uk show Vauxhall dealers offering between 10 and 11% discount, with Honda knocking 6 and 7% off the price of its new cars.

As a result of the financial need to hit first quarter volume targets, dealers are faced with excess stock, and the challenge of finding a suitable sales channel to dispose of it.

The internet has a key role to play, and can offer instantly-updated listings of stock through sites such as Auto Trader and Motors.co.uk.

Eight out of 10 customers now search for buying advice online before even walking into a dealership.

With increasing pressure on their finances, these web-savvy buyers know what they want, and the price they want to pay.

So having the right stock online is essential, and the exposure can help highlight the reductions on offer.

For those who can shift the excess, adverts can be removed instantly avoiding wasted calls and disappointed customers after the car has gone.

Though the market for new cars is becoming challenging, an effective online stock listing should help bring effective sales leads into the dealership, and give dealers the advantage to ensure that unwanted stock sells fast and profitably.

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