DEMAND for new cars has been “insane” since showrooms reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions, according to one South West dealership. As a result, Michael Leatherbarrow, general manager of Drive Vauxhall Bristol, has employed five new sales staff at its two city dealerships after a recruitment day attracted a flurry of interest.
One of the largest hangovers facing dealerships since the easing of lockdown remains the significant fall in financial penetration, says Fraser Brown of MotorVise Automotive.
Discussions with the directors of several dealer groups reveal that the motor trade continues to operate in a bubble created by a limited supply of new and used cars – resulting in good chassis profits, but much reduced finance income.
Triumph Motorcycles has continued training its staff worldwide throughout the pandemic, thanks to an innovative programme from MotorVise Automotive. Faced with restrictions surrounding traditional in-person training events, MotorVise invested in creating two hi-tech broadcast studios allowing it to deliver virtual training sessions to Triumph dealerships across different time zones.
Car dealerships up and down the country may be forgiven for wondering what awaits when they finally reopen their showroom doors on Monday (April 12), says motor trade expert Fraser Brown. However, he predicts that customers are ready to return in their droves – eager to abandon laptop and phone screens in favour of a close encounter of the real kind.