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Dealers ended 2020 with stronger new car demand than 2019

James Hill, managing director of Dealerweb

Dealers across the UK saw orders for new vehicles rise by 9.5% in December, against the same month in 2019, data from Dealerweb has found.

Order for used vehicles fell by 10% while the average sale price increased from £18,682 to £20,900. Enquiry levels fell for both new and used vehicles by 7.7% and 12.6% respectively.

James Hill, managing director at Dealerweb, said: “Dealers showed remarkable adaptability through 2020 and navigated the shifting retail landscape of national lockdowns and regional restrictions. A focus on giving customers a truly personalised experience online and in the showroom has supported both new and used vehicle sales.

“December’s result shows a marked increase in conversion as dealers focused on nurturing each lead. There is anecdotal evidence that there was a rush to buy before the Brexit deal was done due to concerns around tariffs.”

November last year, car retailers suffered their first new and used car order decline since June 2020, during a COVID-19 'Lockdown 2'. 

The findings follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last night, that England would follow Scotland into a new national lockdown.

The Government’s website confirmed this morning (December 5) that dealerships and auctions have been classed as non-essential retail locations which must now rely on click and collect operations to continue to sell products.

Dealerweb said it has helped dealers adapt to the new social distancing measures required to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, with new tools.

Last year, CitNOW acquired the showroom software firm Dealerweb in a deal which the the video software experts believes will leverage innovation and help motor retailers provide "an outstanding customer experience". 

The company said it has also enhanced its React platform to help manage digital and out-of-hours inquiries, following research commissioned by Dealerweb finding that 42% of buyers are more likely to complete a vehicle purchase if they receive a response to an online enquiry within 30 minutes.

Dealerweb's study also revealed that that one in three buyers prefer contact by email or text.

The study examined data from 800 dealers across the UK.

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