With the all-important plate change now in the rear-view mirror, dealers and manufacturers can take stock and review what is and is not working to entice customers into the showroom.
March is now so important to a dealer’s financial performance for the rest of the year, that a poor start can pile the pressure on for the remaining quarters.
Jeep suffered one of the biggest drops in March year-on-year, down 30.4% to 1,807 units. It is interesting to see how the brand is reacting with its offers in Q2. When you look at Jeep’s quarterly performance, the figures also show the brand is down 26.27%, which will sting for dealers who have missed their bonus targets.
The 0% deals across Renegade, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee have continued from Q1 into Q2 and Jeep is putting large finance contributions behind its models.
Customers can get up to £2,500 off a Renegade and £5,000 on the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee. Despite those strong incentives, the idea of paying nearly £500 a month for a Grand Cherokee after paying a £9,000 deposit may put off some customers. However, 0% and £199 a month for the Renegade should help dealers to boost volumes for that model until the end of June.
According to the NFDA’s latest Dealer Attitude Survey, Jeep dealers rate the brand’s retail offers at 6.1, below the average of 6.8.
Honda also struggled in March, with registrations down 11.5% to 11,635 units. The manufacturer is supporting dealers in Q2, with discounts including £750 on entry models such as the Jazz and the 2017 model year Civic. The CR-V has also been discounted by £3,000 when customers take out a PCP over the next three months. The previous model-year Civic gets a £1,500 reduction, as does the Civic Tourer. The HR-V gets just £500 knocked off, perhaps hinting that the HR-V may be the most successful model for dealers at the moment.
Honda has actually removed its 0% deals for the Jazz and Civic for Q2, instead opting for 5.9% APR across all of its representative example offers. Dealers rated Honda’s offers at 6.8, on par with the average across the industry, so they are clearly not unhappy with how competitive the Japanese brand is with its consumer offers.
While Jeep and Honda publish the manufacturer deposit contributions on their new car offers, Lexus goes a step further and shows how much dealers are putting down too.
The CT200h F Sport comes with a £2,000 discount from the manufacturer and a dealer contribution of £750 on top. The heaviest discounting is featured on the IS F Sport, with both the dealer and manufacturer putting in £1,500 towards a total deposit contribution of £3,000 for PCP customers. The Japanese premium brand saw its registrations fall 7% year-on-year in March down to 2,888 units. The network saw registrations fall 10.2% across Q1, which will leave dealers be hoping for a good Q2 to make up lost ground.