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Healthy sales conversions and busy showrooms underpin recovery, says NFDA

Nearly 60% of dealers have seen sales conversions increase post-lockdown and footfall has increased by 25% for over a third, according to the National Franchised Dealers Association’s (NFDA) latest survey.

The NFDA’s third ‘post-lockdown automotive retail’ survey was conducted between August 4-7.

The majority of dealers (86.5%) have now reopened all dealerships.

The survey showed nearly 60% have seen a marginal or relevant increase in sales conversions from enquiries for new cars, while in the used segment this goes further up to 74%.

Almost two thirds of respondents have seen an increase in customer phone enquiries compared to before the lockdown.

Overall, 41.9% of respondents said their dealerships are now fully staffed and 43.2% have brought back to work more than 75% of their workforce.

In terms of online enquiries, 58.1% of dealers saw an increase in the last month for new cars and 84.9% for used.

Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: “As the effects of pent-up demand gradually ease, it is encouraging to see that many franchised dealers are experiencing strong footfall and, as a result, most staff have returned to work.

“The phone and online enquiries that dealers are receiving demonstrate consumer appetite, especially in the used car sector.

"It is positive that many dealers have seen a subsequent increase in sales conversions from these enquiries and we hope this level of demand will continue over the coming months.

Robinson said the NFDA will continue to monitor the health of consumer demand over the coming weeks as September will likely give a clearer picture of the state of the market.

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