Welcome to the frst issue of AM in 2015. The New Year is often a time for taking stock of the preceding 12 months and automotive retail is no exception. New car registrations have beaten all expectations, used car values outstripped last year, dealer average return on sales has held up, and the arrival of the Financial Conduct Authority to oversee consumer credit has not once fallen off the agenda.
For automotive managers, running dealerships in a heavily regulated environment has had to become part of the day-to-day operations. It’s not a pressure they’re unused to, given that regulation of finance and insurance has been around in several forms for years. However, dealers have described the new regime as a headache, and many as an additional cost to their business. One thing is also certain: the FCA seems intent on allowing regulation to drive change in certain aspects of traditional motor retailing, starting with GAP insurance sales.
So now is the time to sense check the business. Is it fit for 2015? Lenders and compliance experts reveal in our FCA Update and our insight into the changing role of the business manager that changes are already being made in their businesses and they expect many franchised dealers to be taking similar action. At the same time, we’ve asked a selection of motor industry legal experts to pick out the other regulatory changes due in 2015 that are most relevant to dealers.
We hope this will help keep you forearmed for 2015, and may we wish all AM readers a merry Christmas, and fruitful trading in the new year.
Elsewhere in the January 2015 issue of AM – Automotive Management
♦ CAP’s retail and consumer valuations editor, Philip Nothard, suggests dealers have become so accustomed to a strong market, any drop is painful.
♦ Professor Jim Saker argues that argues that licensing of the motor trade would benefit customers and staff.
Also: Face to face with Lookers chief executive Andy Bruce and managing director Nigel McMinn, who give their predictions for the full-year new car market, and talk about how Lookers increases customer satisfction, the benefits of blended retailing and new remuneration models for salespeople.
Coming up in the February 'maximising profitability' issue of AM – Automotive Management
♦ Face to face: Vantage Motor Group How a desire to meet the needs of staff, managers and manufacturers is driving Mark Robinson to grow his privately owned motor retail group.
♦ The optional extra: The part manufacturers are now playing in creating better optional upsell opportunities
in every new car sale.
♦ Cost management: Expert advice on ways dealers can keep their operating costs under control, such as in property management, taxation and headcount.
♦ First drive: Hyundai i20: The previous Hyundai i20 only made sense as budget wheels, but the new model promises much greater sophistication.