A focus on the sales of new high-end cars left HR Owen exposed to fluctuations in the model cycle and the attitude prevailed that its wealthy customers, its London-focused businesses and its lack of forecourts didn’t suit used cars.
To address this, a new management team, new technology and the acquisition of the used car-focused Broughtons Group several years ago has transformed the success of its used car operation.
With no significant changes in the sites it operates, HR Owen has seen used volumes increase 118% since 2011, with stable unit margin.
Used car success has been driven in five areas: marketing support (particularly through its website), sourcing (consolidated at group level), range expansion (cars from three to six years old now stocked), a dedicated used car manager at each centre and improved stocking processes and logistics, with managers bonused on speed of preparation, stock age profile and overall profitability.
HR Owen’s website (hrowen.co.uk) is now the number one source of buying leads (34%) and a ‘value my car’ icon features prominently on the site’s navigation bar and on all emails sent by the group.
The group’s Jack Barclay dealership sold more used Bentleys than any other dealer in the world in 2013 and 2014. HR Owen also sold more used Ferraris and Lamborghinis in 2013 and 2014 than any other dealer group.
As auditor BDO noted: “HR Owen is ranked the best in the world by their franchise partners when it comes to used car sales. Through a very individualised process, used customers are treated the same as new. Once on the inside, all customers are firmly part of the HR Owen family.”
Category sponsor: Autoclenz
Swansway Chester Peugeot
2014 Arnold Clark Automobiles; 2013 Milcars Mazda; 2012 Eddie Wright Car Supermarkets