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The July edition of AM is out now

AM July cover 2017

Published alongside your edition of AM this month, you will find your copy of the 2017 AM100 supplement.

Having crunched the numbers, we have determined that the UK’s 100 biggest franchised dealer groups grew their total sales by 10%, or £5.7 billion, last year, despite the cooling off of the retail new car market.

With new car registrations having peaked, we have heard several groups talk about the great opportunity to increase their used car sales.

Funnily enough, this is one area Mercedes-Benz UK chief executive Gary Savage highlighted to me a couple of weeks ago. The used car remarketing and retailing process is too slow and clunky – the first dealers and national sales companies (NSCs) to streamline their operations, to get cars to online forecourts and to a customer quickly, will have an enormous advantage.

It will be a welcome advantage in the long term, because Savage is the first UK executive bold enough to publicly envisage new car sales moving from the dealer to the NSC, and agency fees for test drives and handovers replacing volume sales incentives.

He may be looking somewhat into the distance, but the point is to prompt Mercedes-Benz franchisees to begin considering their other sales opportunities.

Shouldn’t all dealers be doing this? Perhaps, in the 2035 edition of the AM100, turnover’s vanity will finally be replaced by profits’ sanity.

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