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Car dealer test drive conversions are on the up

Dealers are poised to achieve a year-on-year rise in registrations for the September plate-change month, despite limited uplift in enquiries, research shows.

The findings are the result of a detailed nationwide analysis by Dealerweb, the provider of showroom management systems, which examined new car enquiry and sales data during July and August 2015 versus the same period last year, across 12 leading volume and prestige car manufacturer brands.

Dealerweb found a 9% year-on-year rise in orders taken for new cars during July and August 2015. Significantly, this is against a backdrop of a more challenging sales environment, as the volume of sales enquiries has remained static.

The analysis indicated that the average number of test drives recorded by dealers has risen, on average by 2% for the period evaluated.

“We’re seeing higher enquiry conversion rates as a result of more robust and effective sales processes, coupled with some highly competitive customer offers,” said James Hill, sales operations director at Dealerweb.

“There is some healthy growth in the new car market and dealers and manufacturers are clearly willing to put incentives in place to keep the momentum going. However, franchised dealers are also getting better at the job of selling, notably helped by wider adoption of systems and processes that automate and professionalise the management of enquiries.”

The data underpinning the Dealerweb research comes from those dealers using Evo 8, a fully integrated system that manages the full sales process, from initial customer enquiry through to placement of an order.

Dealerweb said it is already in use by more of the UK’s leading motor retailers than any other dedicated showroom management system. These include Sytner, Ford Retail Group and Citygate.

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