WITH news that new car registrations were down by 6.4% in August compared to 2016, it begs the question; could it be down to public opinion of car dealerships?
According to experts, it was just a temporary drop in the market before the new 67 plates became available in September. Traditionally, September is an important month within the auto industry, but public opinion of car dealerships could certainly be damaging the sector.
The rise in online car sales
The public have long been dubious about buying a car from a dealership. Whilst car dealership operations have definitely improved over the years, there’s still a level of mistrust amongst potential buyers.
There are also a lot more options available to buyers these days. Take the internet for example. It has provided a fantastic opportunity for consumers to not only avoid car dealerships, but to potentially save a lot of money in the process.
A survey conducted by Accenture in 2015, revealed three-quarters of respondents would prefer to handle the entire car-buying process online. This included the paperwork, financing and price negotiations. However, while it may seem like a better option, avoiding dealerships and going straight to a private buyer is a lot riskier.
How can dealerships regain positive public opinion?
One of the main reasons consumers boycott the dealership in favour of online options is price. Dealerships aren’t considered the best option for great deals. However, there is a way dealerships could potentially bring their prices down and attract more buyers and that’s by importing vehicles.
Companies such as Unbeatable Car, started out and became successful by investing in imported cars at a good price and selling them at discounted rates. This enabled them to develop a reputation for selling high-quality vehicles at an affordable cost.
With Brexit causing a lot of uncertainty within the auto industry, it’s understandable dealerships may be worried about a drop in sales. In order to survive, they’re going to need to adjust and find ways to offer new cars at a more affordable rate. Importing them could therefore be an ideal solution.
Overall, a lot of public opinion in the UK regarding car dealership pricing is misinformed. Many are simply unaware of some of the cheaper options available. However, steps do need to be taken by dealerships to bring the costs down and to make them more approachable to potential customers.