Tom Keighley

Automotive consultants respond to gloomy predictions

Car dealerships will have to rethink their approach to new car sales in 2012, a national consultancy has said in response to downbeat assessments on the industry.

Coachworks Consulting, the automotive business improvement specialists, remain optimistic, despite the gloomy outlook posed by PwC and Deloitte reports.

Automotive analysts at PwC predicted the new car market will fall below 1.9 million units this year, while Deloitte said new registrations could drop to as low as 1.8 million.

Coachworks believe that paying attention to enquiry management processes could help to drive turnover.

Karl Davis, managing director of Coachworks, said: “There is absolutely no reason why most dealerships cannot increase new car turnover in 2012 if they accept the way they do things is flawed.

“But national demand levels next year will leave no room for Dealer Principals and directors to hide behind technology.

“Too often in the past they have happily forked out £100,000-plus on enquiry management IT systems without any thought to culture change, leadership and building rapport with customers.

“In this sort of climate, it’s no longer enough for leaders to invest in enquiry management technology and then wash their hands of the matter thinking they’ve done their bit.”

He went on to add that enquiry management systems are no substitute for effective leadership.

Coachworks has launched a programme called Soul Provider, which aims to transform attitudes, sales and margins across manufacturers and dealerships.

The scheme looks at transforming company culture, from the top down, and the business is encouraged to look at how they treat potential customers.

Mr Davis continued: “With effective enquiry management, a different attitude to potential customers, strong leadership and more effective sales coaching, turnover from new cars, upselling and aftersales can increase significantly in 2012, regardless of the economic indicators.

“As with all our programmes, soul Provider is self-financing and the actions agreed and attitudes learnt will benefit the business for years to come.”

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