Dealers report market slowdown but have sights set on 2017
Automotive data expert cap hpi has revealed that the majority of dealers are reporting a slowdown. Consumer demand in November witnessed the highest decline in 2016. Over half (56%) of dealers indicated demand had worsened and a quarter (25%) reported little or no change. A fifth (19%) buck the trend, reporting an improvement.
It also found that the gap in terms of overall performance is widening between larger dealership groups and smaller independents, the rationale for this being that scale creates cash flow and buying power. Online activity paints a similar picture to the physical footfall levels. For 2016, November has the highest number of dealers indicating an online decline (59%). 16% reported an increase as with last month and the remaining dealers (25%) saw little change.
Responding to overall stock levels, over a third (38%) of dealers reported improving stock availability, with a further third (33%) saying it had deteriorated since October. 29% of dealers said they’d seen little or no change since last month. 36% of dealers anticipate new-car sales in 2017 to reduce by up to -10%, and 9% felt the overall registration volumes in 2017 compared to 2016 could decline by in excess of -10%. 29% believe that the market could remain level, and a more optimistic 27% expect the market will see further growth. 80% of dealers anticipate the used-car sales market in 2017 could remain level or even increase compared to 2016, with 43% reporting, it could increase as much as +10% or more.
Philip Nothard, consumer and retail specialist at cap hpi, said: “The larger operators now have one eye fixed on the closing months of the year and the other on 2017, preparing for a strong start to the year. Generally, dealers appear to be welcoming the benefit of volumes by being selective over what they invest in; however, as usual for this time of the year, the good, better quality product is still attracting high interest.”
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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