WhatCar? has extended free access to its online New Car Buying platform management service until the end of September, in its continued effort to help the industry recover from the slump caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since April, What Car? has offered existing and new users free use of its New Car Buying platform, giving franchised dealers and manufacturers across the UK access to its in-market audience of new car prospects. More than a third intend to buy within four weeks according to What Car?’s latest consumer insights.
With retailers set to reopen on June 1, more than 750 dealerships have signed up to the offer, with a further 250 in the pipeline. Current users include Ford Retail, JCT 600, Hendy Group, Marshall Motor Group, Snows, Vertu Motors, Vindis and Waylands Automotive. The offer is open to all retail and OEM operations in the UK, with no tie-in period for new users.
Rachel Prasher, managing director at Haymarket Automotive, said: “Leads will be the lifeblood of a recovering industry and a thriving marketplace means a thriving car industry. Whatever the shape of the return is in the coming months, we understand that our business will only bounce back if the automotive industry does the same; giving free access to our new car enquiries is one way in which we can help.
“Our market intelligence suggests that more than a third of in-market buyers intend to buy within four weeks, with many significantly advanced in their research. Already in the past few weeks we have seen a significant spike in users of New Car Buying, taking enquiries back to the levels of early March.”
Prasher says that dealers should be ‘on the front foot’ in delivering fast, informed responses to enquiries, as WhatCar? polling suggests that 33% of prospective new car buyers do not want to wait more than four weeks to receive their new car, while 68% want to buy in person from a dealer, but respecting social distancing measures.
Prasher said: “The first wave of customers is likely to be the most qualified and ready to buy that the industry has seen in a generation.
“They are going to be impatient too. How they are managed from the first call is going to be more critical than ever to turning interest into sales.”