A company is only as good as its people and dealers we spoke to lavished praise on Supagard’s professional and enthusiastic representatives.
Glyn Hopkin has been working with Supagard since it launched its first Nissan dealership in Romford in 1993. It is now available at all 21 Glyn Hopkin showrooms (11 Nissan, 7 Fiat, 1 Abarth, 1 Alfa and 1 Suzuki), which collectively sell 8,500 new and 4,000 used vehicles a year.
Managing director Fraser Cohen described his relationship with Supagard as ‘excellent’ and praises director Terry Abbott and his team.
“Their training sessions and one-to-one coaching for underperforming sales advisers and business managers are of huge benefit,” he said.
“Terry Abbott’s enthusiasm for the Supagard product is infectious and relentless, and his commitment to us over the past 17 years has resulted in huge sales of Supagard products.
“Our customers are also very positive about Supagard, which has evolved into a comprehensive package at an affordable price.
“Many repeat customers are purchasing their second or third vehicle from Glyn Hopkin complete with Supagard.”
Cohen added: “Supagard sales leagues are circulated to all our sales staff on a monthly basis and the professional point-of-sale is on display at all our showrooms. Incremental revenue derived from Supagard products has benefited both sales and aftersales departments’ bottom lines. Supagard has played a considerable part in our company’s success and I’m sure it will continue to do so for many years to come.”
As testimonials go that is not a bad start, but the compliments don’t stop there.
Sturgess Motor Group is a family-owned business with three sites in Leicester representing Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Nissan and Fiat . Managing director Barney Sturgess said: “We have been with Supagard for more than five years and it is an easy relationship to manage. We get a lot of support from our area representative, Gary Askam, and he will do regular on-site training and offer ideas on new initiatives. It all helps to keep the sales ticking over.
“The main benefit is that several of the manufacturers we represent have Supagard as a recommended product, and in some cases it also counts towards manufacturer parts purchase targets. If the manufacturer approves the product then that makes it easier to sell because it has an authenticity about it.”
As to sales tactics, Sturgess said the approach was the same as for any add-on. “Our sales teams are encouraged to introduce the product early in the process. It is also important to make sure that staff are properly targeted and incentivised to sell it in satisfactory volumes,” he said.
On prospects for the remainder of 2010, Sturgess commented: “We are broadly positive. While we are a small group, we benefit from having a range of brands, so while one element might be challenging this is offset by the performance of other franchises.
“The VAT increase in January should be of benefit through to the end of the year in the same way that we saw a busier Q4 in 2009 before the rate reverted from 15% back to 17.5%. Obviously there was still scrappage at that time, but if it follows a similar trend then I expect some demand to be dragged forward from 2011, especially in the prestige market where 2.5% will make more of a difference.”
Speaking of the prestige market, Leodis Court Bentley in Leeds, part of the JTC600 group, sells around 70 new and 140 used Bentleys a year. The company has only recently taken on Supagard having previously been with a competitor.
Business manager Mark Ballance explains: “With Supagard you only have to apply it once, so it has that advantage over products that have to be re-applied every few months. You can see the difference when it is applied and our customers are very happy with how it seems to hold its glaze.
“I got to know Darren Johnson of Supagard while working at a Volvo dealership and his enthusiasm for the product is amazing. It really comes across that he believes Supagard is the best and that rubs off on our salespeople.
“We are now at around 40% penetration which makes healthy profit. We make it clear that Darren is welcome any time to come in and do a spot check on our valeters to ensure it is being applied properly.”
Reporting extremely positive recent sales, Ballance said: “We are 150% over where we thought we would be on used (in terms of profit) and hit manufacturer target on new for Q2. New product is due at the end of this quarter with the new Mulsanne so we are ticking along nicely.”
On boosting profit through add-on sales, he said: “As an industry we have become very blinkered about just selling the car, but that should not be seen as ‘job done’. We have to learn from other sectors. If you buy a pair of jeans a good salesman will ask if you want a belt. If you don’t ask you don’t get.”