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July Dealer Survey 

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Dealers feel the squeeze

In its July dealer market survey, cap hpi reports the number of dealers reporting an increase in retained margins has fallen, and the number reporting compression remains at nearly half, albeit slightly less than last year (44% v 47%). Although pressure has continued throughout the first half of 2017 it is less of a ‘rollercoaster'’ than we reported in the same period in 2016. 

Physical forecourt footfall decline compared with July 2016 has increased by 14% in July 2017 to 51% compared to the 37% cited in 2016.  And whilst a quarter experienced an increase in footfall through their showroom doors, a further 25% reported little or no change since this time last year.

The number of dealers reporting a dip an improvement in online business is more positive that physical footfall with a third (32%) seeing an improvement since June. 44% felt a decline in online activity over the previous month representing less of a dip than for the decrease in physical footfall. The remaining 25%, as with the footfall, experienced similar levels of activity as they did in June.

34% of dealers reported better stock availability since last month dropping from 39% compared with July last year.  A third (33%) said stock availability had worsened in the past 12 months, increasing 19% on July 2016’s feedback of 14% reporting worsening availability. Similarly, a third also reported availability remained similar to the previous month.

Finance penetration levels have seen only marginal movement in 12 months with 23% reporting an increase on the previous month, down on 25% last year, those experiencing a decline increased from 21% at this time last year to 26% for June 2017. Dealers indicating little or no change slipped from 54% to 51%.

Philip Nothard, consumer and retail specialist at cap hpi, said: “In general, margins are under pressure, and it is without doubt a major topic of conversation at the moment. Dealers indicating an improvement in retail and consumer demand compared to June has fallen significantly from 41% in 2016, to just over a quarter (28%) in July 2017.  For new sales, dealers undoubtedly found July tougher than June despite the best efforts of  manufacturers to stimulate behaviour.”

Philip Nothard

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. 07702 382 025 philip.nothard@cap-hpi.com



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