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Car retail's vehicle handovers declined by a third in August


August proved to be a challenging month for car sales as the number of car retail vehicle handovers fell by 33%, according to iTrackLeads.

The lead management company said overall enquiries were down 21% in August, the second largest fall this year.

While the number of leads responded to fell by 20%, dealers worked effectively to see only a 12% fall in test drives and a 13% drop in sales.

The shortage of used vehicles and delays in new car delivery saw a 33% fall in handovers.

Adrian Favill, director of iTrackLeads, said: “It’s clear the industry is facing myriad challenges with ongoing delays to new car deliveries and a well-documented shortage of used vehicles.

“Despite these challenges, dealers are adept at maximising the value of every lead to ensure that buyers can test drive vehicles and orders continue to be taken. We may have a tough winter ahead, but dealers have the technology they need to help support the bottom line.”

Data from iTrackLeads shows a fast response to a customer enquiry will increase the number of test drives and sales. The quickest response times saw 10% of enquiries converted to test drives and 84% of test drives turning into sales.

Car manufacturers’ supply issues are proving 'as damaging as COVID-19' to European car sales, according to Jato Dynamics.

While the new car registrations decline seen between March and June slowed in August Registrations through July were at similar level to those seen between January and June, July’s volumes were similar to 2020 when hit pandemic hit the market.

Nearly half (47%) of motorists planning to buy a new car in the next year would be prepared to pay more to avoid lengthy lead times, research by Close Brothers Motor Finance has found.

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