JCT600 says it is on track to achieve its “best ever” year of new and used car sales with retail volumes for the first eight months of 2011 already over 1,000 cars higher than the 2010 record year.
Despite the tough economic conditions (in the seven months this year retail sales have fallen 17% compared to 2009), John Tordoff, chief executive of the family owned car dealer group, said: “The year set off at a great pace and then like most retail businesses we encountered a slowdown around the time of the Royal Wedding in April as consumer spending fell.
“We decided to take action quickly and as a result June, July and August have been record sales months for the business.”
The group has not disclosed total year-to-date sales.
One of the actions was to carry out a telephone survey with every customer aimed at ensuring that they had received the best possible service at the dealership.
“We have a reputation for providing excellent customer service, but needed to know that this was being delivered consistently across the business.
"We receive regular feedback from customers who buy cars from us via the manufacturers we represent, but wanted to learn more from those customers who had not gone on to buy from us,” Tordoff said.
“The results were very encouraging with many customers scoring us 9 or 10 out of 10.
"We were also able to pick up on any low scores and ensure that any small issues were dealt with as well as taking action to prevent the same problem occurring going forward.”
In addition to the customer service initiative, JCT600 introduced valued added initiatives such as 0% and low rate finance offers and free servicing, free insurance and accessories.
“We have run several special used car on-line events over the last few months, reducing almost every used car by up to £500,” said Andy Coulthurst, group sales director.
“JCT600 already prices used cars to be the most competitive within 100 miles and with this further event reduction, we have made ourselves the automatic choice for the cost conscious motorist.
“Due to the success of these events we are planning our biggest event yet on September 7 when we will be reducing the prices of over 1,500 used cars on-line until the end of the month and we’ll also be promoting the Big Used Car Sale on TV during this period.
“Due to the tremendous amount of 61 plate cars we are delivering in September, we have lots of cars arriving in part–exchange, many of which we have previously supplied and maintained.
"To complement this, our group buyers are using our purchasing power to replace the hundreds of used cars we will sell each week with the best quality stock we can find in the market.”