Car dealers stock up in readiness for the New Year rush

The beginning of the year signals the start of a busy period in most lines of work, and My Car Check Trade states that car dealerships are no different. Head of valuation services, Gavin Amos, states: “Dealerships are hives of activity in January as, with Christmas over, consumers turn their attention to looking for a new car. Footfall always increases dramatically at this time of year and retailers will have taken advantage of the December lull to stock up in readiness.

“Historically, dealers have grabbed as many 4x4s as possible in the hope that snowfall would get the phone ringing off the hook. However, the warm temperatures over the last couple of years have taught many a lesson. Rather than risk being left with a lot of winter stock to shift come spring, traders have broadened their horizons and gone for anything in ready to retail condition, which is no easy task given the shortage of prime used stock.

“As we head through January, retail sales levels will settle back down and main dealers’ focus will switch to the upcoming new plate in March. The smartest teams manage this while still maintaining used sales, but at many dealerships it will be all about hitting those new car sales targets.

“Volvo seems well set for a real push in the UK this year. They undoubtedly have the product so the challenge is to match the German competition in terms of customer service and the sales environment. If they can, and the early signs are promising, expect to see a significant increase in both new and used Volvo sales.

“As to market trends, the lack of ready to retail used car stock looks set to continue throughout 2016, which isn’t going to please trade buyers. They keep trawling the private ads, as well as the usual sales channels, to maximise the chances of seizing the best profit opportunities. The right spec is key to achieving super strong used prices and last year’s top performers, such as Evoque and Q5, remain very much in demand.”

My Car Check Trade is the trade valuations arm of CDL Vehicle Information Services. Based on industry data and feedback from independent and franchised dealers, its monthly bulletins highlight the most significant trends in the UK used car, LCV and motorcycle markets.

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