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AM DigiTech 2017: How are extraordinary political events influencing new car buying behaviour?

Karen Hilton carwow

Whilst an uncertain political landscape affects consumer confidence, dealers don’t need to worry unduly, according to Carwow head of sales operations Karen Hilton who will explore the current influences on new car buying behaviour as part of AM’s DigiTech conference.

Hilton (pictured) will share insights from Carwow’s data to provide a wider understanding of consumers’ car buying behaviour and online activity at the new event which takes place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Thursday.

Exploring the latest digital trends and technology which are changing the face of automotive retailing, the event is designed to provide dealers with the information they need to meet the challenges of today’s fast-paced and disruptive retail environment.

With Brexit dominating the agenda and a snap general election now scheduled, this year is already shaping up to be like no other in recent memory, data tracking levels of enquiries and sales from Carwow helps dealers understand how car buyers are reacting to these historical events.

Whilst it is too soon to understand the impact of Tuesday’s election announcement, the impact of both Brexit and Donald Trump taking up the presidency has already been felt.

Hilton said: “Interestingly, one has more had more impact than the other, but it's fair to say neither as much as the media would have you believe.

“We will share some arguably more interesting trends influencing buyer behaviour and look at how dealers can capitalise on them right now.

“The lead indicators Carwow monitors of configurations, enquiries and sales are showing no signs of decline in 2017 so far.  

“Q2 will be the real test, but with the volume of people reading our review content still at a record high we're confident that there are still plenty of people only just entering the car research process that will buy in the months to come.”

Hilton's session will also explore other influences on buying decisions such as the VED changes which saw a corresponding 9% increase in stock enquiries and a 5% increase in stock purchases as people scrambled to secure their car prior to the April 1 deadline.

Other factors affecting purchasing will also be discussed, she said: “Customer loyalty is changing as needs are changing and choice is easier to access.  If you go back in history purchases were traditionally made based on relationships.  

“People bought into brands based on the experience they had with the person that they bought from.  

“For car dealers, increased choice and easily accessible information mean their sales process needs to adapt.  

“The customer that has always bought a Golf - may now buy something else - not because they’ve fallen out of love with Volkswagen, but because there’s more choice and buying a car is becoming easier to do.”

AM DigiTech 2017 tickets

Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers and bookings are already being taken, please  visit


Ricoh Arena, Coventry CV6 6GE


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