Car retailers are being advised to hunt down hybrid used car stock after research revealed that consumer demand for the alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) is outstripping demand by eight-to-one.
Analysis of hundreds of thousands of customer searches and dealer adverts listed on the Carsnip online marketing portal during November showed that almost one in six (16%) people are now searching for hybrids – an increase of 30% in a month.
But many retailers are losing out on potential sales due to a limited stock of such vehicles, with just 2% of adverts being accounted for by hybrid vehicles over the same period.
Philip White, commercial director for Carsnip, said: “At Carsnip we’re constantly trying to help dealers sell more stock by listing adverts for cars that their customers want to buy.
“Our Carsnip Market Update takes a snapshot of the 1.2 million users who visit Carsnip every month to offer valuable insights for dealers keen to improve their sales.
“Our data shows dealers which specs will help them grab that vital extra market share. Hybrids are one clear category where dealers have an opportunity to steal a march on their competitors.”
Carsnip’s report compares data for adverts and advert clicks for the search terms colour, engine size, gearbox, fuel type, manufacturer, mileage, model, price and registration year.
By making this data freely available every month, Carsnip aims to help dealers sell more stock by revealing new customer trends and opportunities for them to capitalise on.
Yesterday mainstream media outlets highlighted a report published by the UK Energy Research Council, which showed that emissions from new cars have been increasing rather than declining as a result of SUVs outselling electric cars by 37 to one in the UK.
Professor Jillian Anable, co-director of the UKERC, said government must immediately “start to phase out the most polluting vehicles”.
However, in the used car market the lower historical sales of AFVs means that retailers are struggle to acquire the amount of stock they now require as public sentiment begins to shift towards hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles (EV).
In its paper, the UKERC pointed out that battery electric vehicles are less than 1% of the UK car market currently.