We stand accused this month of journalistic provocation or prophesying doom in our online reporting earlier this year of a KPMG survey (read Jim Saker’s column here).
A headline finding of KPMG’s Global Automotive Executive Survey 2018 was that between 20% and 50% of bricks-and-mortar sales points in the UK could close by 2025.
Yes, it is a prophecy, as any survey asking respondents to look seven years into the future must be. However, whether it is of doom is open to debate – there is certainly evidence to support the idea that networks are shrinking. Ford has lost 90 sites in the past five years, Peugeot’s network will have gone from 280 in 2008 to a planned 185 by 2020, and now PSA Group is expected to demand Vauxhall sheds about 100 outlets.
The reasons for this shrinkage are many and varied – growth in the fleet and leasing market over the past 25 years took volume away from dealerships; showrooms have got larger; consumers are searching online for vehicles; new mobility solutions are putting further pressure on registration volumes. To ignore such facts would be to shirk our responsibility to provide you with a fair, objective and balanced look at our industry.
In that spirit, I am pleased to announce that we will host an open debate at our Automotive Management Live event this November on the subject of how franchised dealers can adapt for the future – and we are calling for submissions from interested parties at dealer, manufacturer, supplier and independent expert levels. To offer a submission, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘AML Vision of the Future’.
We want to support leaders in this industry through the changes that digitalisation and alternative transport solutions are creating, and to help them discuss solutions. Please do join the debate.