It was a turbulent year in the auto world in 2017 with a number of external factors impacting consumer confidence. This saw the sale of new cars fall for the first time in six years at a total of 5.7%. It is thought that a combination of the uncertainty over Brexit, the Government’s clean air plans and the economic climate all contributed to this decline.
Used car dealerships
Whilst this was bad news for dealerships selling new cars, there were some companies that managed to enjoy a stellar year as consumers were still eager to buy used vehicles. Reputable used car dealership Motorpoint was one such company, having enjoyed another record year with a new showroom opened in Sheffield in April 2017 and two further sites, Castleford and Oldbury, cementing one year’s successful trading last year.
Mark Carpenter, the CEO of Motorpoint, believes that the company was able to thrive in a difficult year thanks to the group’s consistent focus on ‘choice, value and service’ delivering continued growth in market share.” They are now turning their attention to the year ahead and will be aiming to improve on last year’s impressive performance.
The year ahead
With new showrooms up and down the country, it is easy to see Motorpoint continuing to succeed as motorists continue to shop in the used car market as opposed to buying new. Dealerships offer consumer protection and peace of mind as opposed to buying privately, so when this is combined with Motorpoint’s professional service and options such as finance deals and part-exchange, it helps motorists to shop with confidence.
Carpenter commented on his hopes for the year ahead: “Motorpoint expects repeat customer levels to be even more crucial in 2018, as customers increasingly seek the security of a trusted brand able to offer a no-pressure experience through its focus on ‘choice, value and service’.”
This choice that Carpenter refers to is crucial in a time where the public’s approach to diesel and eco-friendly automobiles is undergoing an enormous change. This is evident with the recent third-quarter numbers released by Jaguar Land Rover, which showed a 25pc fall in pre-tax profits. The Coventry-based manufacturer claim that confusion about the Government’s policy towards diesel (around 80% of their vehicles are powered by diesel) is to blame.
This has worked in the favour of used car dealerships like Motorpoint, who have been able to grow their share of Jaguar and other diesel sales by selling nearly-new diesel automobiles for attractive prices. Carpenter confirmed that “Nearly-new diesel stock has seen some downward pricing pressure as new car demand moves increasingly towards petrol and alternative-fuels. Motorpoint has been ideally positioned to take advantage of these price drops: securing the stock, passing on the substantial savings to customers, and thereby growing its share of diesel sales for the year.”
The auto industry is going through a huge change right now with so much uncertainty in the air and the public beginning to embrace the green car revolution. Although there is uncertainty, companies like Motorpoint have been able to profit from this by offering their customers a wide range of affordable used cars and an efficient service and this only looks set to continue into 2018.
(A Retail Times’ collaborative article)