Auto Trader claims that two thirds of all its customers' used car sales result from leads generated via its online marketplace.
The claim comes as the business reported that visits to its platform rose by 15% to 64 million in 2021, influencing 8% more sales than in 2020.
Auto Trader now claims that over 75% of all time spent on UK automotive websites is spent on its marketplace, with the number of leads generated for retailers up 20% on 2020 and 62% on pre-pandemic 2019.
Chief executive, Nathan Coe, said: “2021 was a remarkable year for the industry, and I’m pleased that the very strong levels of consumer demand resulted in many retailers achieving record performance.
“The high demand, which we saw reflected on Auto Trader, also helped to fuel unprecedented double-digit price growth, and with it, very strong margins.”
Auto Trader said that 2021 had brought its largest ever annual marketing investment, culminating in the launch of a new campaign on Christmas Day highlighting the ease and simplicity of buying a car online.
In its first two weeks the campaign – scheduled to run until April 2022 – reached 22% of all UK adults at least once through TV advertising and achieved over 24 million ‘impacts’ across TV and video on demand channels, Auto Trader said.
This month’s News Insight feature in the latest digital edition of AM magazine revealed that car retailers shared an uncertain outlook for 2022 as continued vehicle supply shortages look set to define the year ahead.
The strength of used car values, and consumer demand, look set to stay, however.
Cap HPI head of valuations Derren Martin, Cox Automotive insight and strategy director Phillip Nothard, and Auto Trader commercial director Ian Plummer said there is little prospect of any sizeable influx of new cars or used car stock any time soon – resulting in a continuation of buoyant used car pricing.
Last week Pendragon chief executive, Bill Berman, told AM that it could take the sector eight years to recover from the supply shortages resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns and shortages of semiconductor microchips and other components to OEMs.
Commenting on Auto Traders’ strong 2021 market engagement, and its intentions for the year ahead, Coe said: “As we look forward to the year ahead, and beyond, we’re proud that the strength of our marketplace puts us in the best possible position to help our retailer partners.
“Not only to capitalise on the growth in consumer demand, but as we continue to provide more tools, more data, and more insight, to also successfully embrace the huge opportunities that these changes present.”