cap hpi reports that throughout April dealers have seen a heavier decline in physical footfall than for the same period in 2016, with 70 per cent noting a decrease compared to 49 per cent last year. However, the number of dealers indicating an increase rose to 16 per cent from 10 per cent in 2016.
Online activity performed at a similar level to the physical footfall with almost two thirds (63%) of dealers indicating a drop. In 2016, this figure stood at nearly half of this year’s at 34 per cent. Those dealers reporting an increase in activity over the month into April dipped to 10 per cent compared with 22 per cent in 2016.
The respondents reporting an uplift in retained margins on the previous month rose to 18 per cent against 14 per cent in April 2016. However, the percentage of dealers who felt they had experienced further compression increased from 25 per cent last year to 39 per cent for 2017. 43 per cent reported experiencing little or no change since March.
38 per cent of dealers reporting better stock availability since last month fell by over a fifth (21%) from 59 per cent last year. Just over a quarter (26%) said stock availability had worsened since March.
Sentiment from dealers on finance penetration is not too different to the landscape of 12 months ago. With a fifth reporting a decline this month, those experiencing an increase fell from 20 per cent at this time last year to 8 per cent for April 2017. Dealers indicating little or no change rose from 58 per cent to 71 per cent.
Philip Nothard, consumer and retail specialist at cap hpi, said: “Consumer demand is following a similar trend to the performance for both physical and online footfall. With two thirds (66%) of dealers indicating a worsening coming into April from March compared to just 36% in 2016. Those highlighting an improvement dropped from 18 per cent to 10 per cent. The support and challenge to maintain the headline monthly payment appears to be the current theme for dealers and signs indicate this is becoming tougher.”
With over 27 years’ experience in the motor trade, Philip brings an informed eye to developing industry insight and market commentary. He joined cap hpi in 2010 as Retail & Consumer Black Book Editor, where he was responsible for analysing pricing data and interpreting strategic trends in retail, consumer and trade markets. A widely experienced and highly successful automotive specialist, he has a wealth of knowledge gained at the most senior levels whilst working for blue-chip businesses within this sector. His experience helps him to interpret trends and raw data into contextual and meaningful insight. Philip’s career includes managing dealerships for independents, supermarkets and large PLC groups.
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