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The February issue of AM - Automotive Management is out now

The February issue of AM – Automotive Management magazine is out now (scroll down for a preview).

Will franchised dealers enjoy a repeat this year of the sales successes seen in 2014? Last year’s UK new car market has been hailed as the fourth-strongest on record – no matter whether genuine sales or pre-registrations – and the SMMT forecasts a little more growth to come yet.

However, the glamour of success in car sales does not automatically translate to the same in dealer KPIs – our new-look Market Intelligence section shows there’s still a long way to go for many in motor retail. One business that accepts this fact is Meridian Motor Group. It has expanded rapidly within 18 months, but in our face to face interview this month its managing director, Mark Robinson, sets out his ambitions to improve what he has rather than expand further.

Another company facing quite a climb is Honda UK. After years of problematic trading, its retail network’s returns are well behind the curve. The Japanese brand’s UK head of cars, Leon Brannan, maps out how this will change in the medium term.

It should be welcome news for dealers. The impression gained from our most recent poll is that they believe new car profits will come under pressure in 2015. It is no coincidence that we look at new car options earnings in this issue, and we’re pleased to share advice gathered from experts in our controlling costs feature.

Great performance is possible. With the 2015 AM Awards less than a month away, we reveal the shortlisted finalists ahead of the big event on February 19.

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