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Palmers takes tests to customers

Palmers Skoda in St Albans will take cars to customers for test drives under a new initiative called Skoda2U.

The scheme, launched jointly with Skoda UK, allows customers to access the full range of dealer services without actually setting foot in a Skoda dealership.

Adrian Hewett, Palmers Skoda territory manager, said he hoped to take around 10 cars per month to customers, but admitted that the market was hard at the moment.

He was confident it would pick up in September with the number plate change.

Marketing for the free no-obligation service has included car shows, handing out flyers and charity events.

Covering a 25-mile radius, Hewett normally takes cars to customers for a short period of time, but has also left models overnight if it better suits prospective buyers’ lifestyles.

He said his close rate, at around 70%, is higher than when customers visit the showroom.

“Skoda customers have normally done a fair amount of research prior to requesting the car, so they’ve got an idea what they want anyway.”

Skoda2U also provides part-exchange valuations.

It also allows Hewett to access Skoda systems to quote on delivery times, order a car and provide financial quotations.

The Czech carmaker said it hoped to roll out the scheme across the network eventually.

Hewett added: “We have everything in place – systems and processes – and people know about it. “Now it’s time to push it forward.”

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