How vehicle dealers can thrive in the current economic market?

How vehicle dealers can thrive in the current economic market?

The economy has begun to shift to an uncertain place as geopolitical concerns continue to impact business confidence,and living costs exceed wage rises in many Western countries. Despite this economic tension, however, the vehicle market continues to build year-on-year, with car sales in the UK reaching a record high in 2016. This growth in sales is matched with a competitive and ever-changing market that is threatening to squeeze out business operators who lag behind the latest technological and retail developments in the market.

An independent study released by Auto Trader, found the most successful retailers in the auto industry are nevertheless thriving despite the complexities of the current market. The, based on a series of in-depth interviews with 70 dealers across the United Kingdom, noted a stark division in attitude between the top-performing ‘pioneering retailer’ and the weaker "traditional dealers".

The pioneer retailers, as they are called, are ready to embrace the changes in the market. These challenges are an opportunity to revolutionise the business. This positive mindset, in turn, has a positive impact on their operations, creating what Auto Trader calls a "virtuous circle". However, traditional dealer mindset, which is less successful, tends to have a negative outlook on change and refuses to adapt to the evolving market. These dealers’ operations are constrained to a negative ‘vicious’ circle.

A positive, flourishing dealer traditionally commits to three key aspects of success - a focus on the customer’s needs, embracing digital trends, and empowering their colleagues. Pioneering dealers take bold steps to improve these avenues of the business and introduce new digital channels in their dealership websites, such as Skype and Live Chat, so customers can communicate with representatives and employees can also freely communicate with each other in the business.

Another important avenue to success is up-to-the-minute stock management solutions, including live retail pricing to ensure their vehicles are constantly keeping pace with the ever-changing retail market. The most successful retailers were repricing stock every 30 days, which results in ahigher stock turnover and, in turn, higher profits generated more quickly. 

One UK dealership embracing this change is Eastern BMW Edinburgh, a family-owned business in the heart of Scotland that specializes in luxury vehicles. Both new and used models are available, and the dealership prides itself on customer service and competitive prices above high-pressure sales tactics. To encourage customers from across the country, Eastern BMW will fly buyers to Edinburgh free of charge to view and collect their vehicles. The Scottish dealer also maintains an active social media presence, and communicates publicly with customers to foster and maintain brand loyalty.

Those operating in a competitive, but economically flourishing market such as car sales, need to remain one step ahead and be forward-thinking if they want to make it. The most successful dealers in the UK all generally share the same positive outlook when it comes to embracing market changes through developing current digital communications and stock management technology.They remain approachable and customer-focused, ensuring business will continue long into the future. 

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