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Franchised car dealerships see 5% rise in H1 aftersales activity

Paul Muers, business unit director at autoVHC

Franchised car retailers benefited from a 5% rise in the volume of vehicles presented at their dealerships for maintenance, according to vehicle health check provider autoVHC.

More than 380,000 additional vehicles presented to the UK franchise sector between January and June, 2019, according to the aftersales management technology specialist, with the total figure rising from 1,570 to 1,649 vehicles.

Across the UK’s franchised dealership network, which stands at approximately 4,900 dealers, autoVHC said that this equated to 387,100 additional vehicles being serviced by franchisees in the first half of the year.

Paul Muers, business unit director at autoVHC, said: “The first half of the year has been a promising one for dealers, which is welcome news amidst a challenging environment that includes a tough vehicle sales market and uncertainty relating to a number of factors, including Brexit.

“Our data shows more vehicles being presented to franchised dealers, which demonstrates that the sector is still capable of appealing to vehicle owners, despite the competition posed by rapid fit businesses. However, this good news is offset by vehicle health check completion rates that are still relatively low.”

The data published by autoVHC, which is compiled from 500 UK franchised car dealerships, revealed that the uptake in the number of vehicles presented coincided with a slight drop in the completion rate of vehicle health checks (VHCs), which fell from 69% to 66%.

With a completed VHC representing an additional invoice value of £73 per customer, incomplete VHCs could have cost the average dealer £40,880 in the first half of the year alone, it said.

The total calculated loss resulting from the VHCs oversight meant a total missed sales opportunity of £200 million across the UK.

Muers said: “Having a vehicle health check process in place for highlighting work to customers in a transparent way can significantly increase invoice value.

“But this process must be carried out on a regular basis, otherwise the full potential of any uplift in customers using the franchised dealership sector for vehicle servicing will be missed.”

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