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The February issue of AM - Automotive Management is out now

Car dealers aiming to smash records in 2016 cannot ignore digital. 

2015 was marked by the biggest new car market the UK has ever seen. The motorist’s desire for a premium brand on the drive shows no sign of abating, with Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Land Rover, Mini and Audi all growing volumes significantly, as our observations of the annual market in this month's magazine show.

The pace doesn’t seem likely to slacken. Some industry experts predict that registrations will increase further in 2016, to more than 2.7 million. Of course, daily rental and retailer pack deals will feature, but more company car fleets are changing their vehicles sooner, and private motorists have welcomed the PCP and PCH as an opportunity to change their car more often and more easily.

The maintenance of a record total industry volume is a positive for the dealers who have had to expand their sales forces and upscale their facilities to meet manufacturers’ demands. The market figures suggest it has been a necessary investment.

Yet for too many motor retailers that investment still has not reached their digital operations sufficiently. Our insights into dealer websites and digital teams this month reveal many best practice processes and tools are yet to be fully embraced. Do so, or be left behind by your peers as well as your customers.

The days are counting down to the AM Awards, our annual celebration of the good and the great in UK motor retail. I was part of the judging panel for the first time and I was struck by the volume of entries we received and the diversity of the industry’s strong performers. Click here to see which companies made it to the final shortlist. AM’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Briers, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the AM Awards gala dinner on February 11 at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre.

Tim Rose
Managing editor, AM


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