The average UK car dealer enjoyed record profits in March on the back of record breaking new car registrations, making more than £114,000.
It is the first time a month’s profits exceeded £100,000.
The result represents an increase in profits of more than 15% in the month, said dealer performance specialists ASE.
“The performance does not come as a surprise given the record level of registrations, particularly as in the first quarter this was not purely driven by large levels of dealer self-registrations,” said ASE chairman Mike Jones (pictured).
“The genuine retail market was strong, with demand for both new and used cars being healthy.”
Dealer new car sales have exceeded the prior year in every month of 2017 so far, reducing the levels of pre-registration required to hit targets, he said.
Used car sales have been strong, also exceeding the prior year and with margins standing up well.
Return on investment remains above 80% with the industry processing the excess stock efficiently.
Aftersales performance has continued to grow.
“However, this has been on the back of internal and warranty sales and at the expense of retail work.
“This is always a challenge in March, however we have seen continued declines in the retail content, which is heading down towards 50%.
April registrations dropped significantly compared to the prior year. Time will tell whether this is a drop in genuine sales, impacting profit, or merely fewer self-registrations.”