Perrys Motor Sales managing director Darren Ardron told the AM News Show Podcast that it felt like the car retail sector was getting “back to reality” in 2022 – but highlighted reasons for optimism.
Ardron joined AM news and features editor Tom Sharpe in the AM News Show studio at Armchair Marketing’s Northamptonshire headquarters for a group discussion with Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) president Jim Saker and ICDP managing director Steve Young.
And reflecting on the market’s prospects in a year that is likely to be defined by continued vehicle supply headaches, Ardron said that retailers would have to be mindful of rising overheads.
“What we’ve got to be very conscious of is that we now starting to put reality back in in cost,” Ardron said.
“We’ve had this false situation for the past two years, with reduced staff and furlough and reduced rates and support. We’re back to reality now.
“We just have to watch our cost base at the minute.”
Ardron made his comments ahead of the outbreak of war in Ukraine, a situation that has tempered hopes of an automotive supply recovery this year.
The war has also sparked fears of severe inflation in the UK as energy prices, fuel costs and food bills all rise.
The shift prompted the Bank of England to raise the interest rate to 0.75%, with further rises predicted for the months to come.
Speaking to the AM News Show Podcast, Ardron said: “Obviously a lot of (the automotive retail sector’s 2022 success) depends on supply. If the supply does all come, then yes it will be a fantastic year. I’m predicting it might be Q3 it might be Q4, but it could also go into 2023 as well.
“While ever there’s that scarcity of used car supply that holding margins up as well.”
Ardron added: “If we keep an eye on all that I think we’ll do phenomenally well.”
The AM News Show Podcast is available via Youtube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts and, as such, can be viewed or listened to on-demand.
Previous guests of the show include TrustFord marketing director Julia Greenhough, CitNOW sales manager Callum Wood, Waylands Automotive chief executive John O’Hanlon and IMDA chairman Umesh Samani.