Strong used car market and busy aftersales, latest franchised dealers’ survey reveals
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has published the findings of the latest ‘post-lockdown automotive retail’ survey. Through the findings, NFDA aims to assess the implications of COVID-19 on the automotive retail sector and understand how the industry is now recovering.
The survey asked dealers questions about the current situation since reopening including the numbers of staff that have returned to work, current levels of customer footfall as well as online enquiries and sales.
Following the previous surveys in June, July and August, this edition was conducted between 7 and 14 September 2020.
- Staff levels: 53 per cent of franchised dealers have brought back 75 per cent of staff, whilst 35 per cent of dealerships are now fully staffed.
- Footfall: franchised dealers are experiencing high levels of footfall for used cars with 39 per cent seeing an increase of up to 25 per cent from this time last year.
- Online enquiries: 44 per cent of franchised dealers have seen an increase in online new car sales enquiries in the last month, whilst 70 per cent had more enquiries for used cars.
- Online sales: 50 per cent of dealers saw an increase in online used car sales, while 30 per cent had more online sales for new cars.
- Aftersales: 72 per cent of franchised dealers have seen an increase in online and phone bookings for service departments.
Sue Robinson, NFDA director, commented, “Dealers report high levels of online enquiries and customer footfall for used cars. Following August’s marginal decline in private demand for new cars, it is encouraging to see that interest in used cars remains strong.
“Aftersales departments have been busy over the past weeks as roads get busier and motorists visit franchised dealers more regularly for a number of repairs including basic maintenance checks that might have been overlooked during the lockdown. Dealers are bringing more staff back to dealerships and are working hard to improve the efficiency of their workshops.
“We will continue to monitor the health of the sector over the coming weeks and tailor our surveys to obtain accurate dealers’ insights in line with the current state of the market”.