Dealers look to freshen up their Christmas stocking

Used car shortages mean that vehicle preparation is more important than ever

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Whilst most consumers have got used to motor related acronyms such as ABS and ECU, the latest one to hit the industry has created significant issues for vehicle manufacturers, at a critically important time for sales.

Since 1st September 2018, all cars sold within the EU must comply with the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) for emissions and fuel consumption. This replaced the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) procedure and includes ‘real-world’, rather than laboratory-based testing, and a greater focus on the environmental credentials of individual models.

In advance of the new legislation coming into force, however, many manufacturers have struggled to ensure that their ranges are fully compliant, which has meant that a number of models have had production suspended until the engines have passed the new tests. In a few cases, some planned models have been axed completely.

From a retailer’s perspective, the introduction of WLTP has impacted negatively on supply, causing customer delivery times to lengthen, as well as delays to demonstrator models. Consequently, uncertainty on waiting times has knocked consumer confidence, compounded by other external factors such as Brexit and general economic uncertainty. Many buyers have instead turned to the used car market to source their next vehicle and it’s widely anticipated that the used car market will remain buoyant in comparison to the new sector well into 2019. In fact, second hand cars outperformed new during October.

With new car supply expected to be an issue for the sector well into next year, WLTP has provided a boost for used car dealers and auction houses, as franchised dealers compete to acquire stock for their forecourts. Manheim, for example, saw its October business increase by over 6%. Many industry commentators believe that there simply aren’t enough premium quality used cars to fulfil demand, which has resulted in dealers having to lower their expectations in order to secure their required volumes.

A strategy of acquiring lesser grade cars and then investing in their refurbishment to achieve the necessary retail profitability is being widely adopted, which clearly provides an opportunity for SMART repair and VPS providers.

LifeShine has also proven to deliver the complete and most profitable VPS solution for dealers.

As a market leader in paint protection for over 50 years, Autoglym is certainly well placed to support dealers that need to add value to lower grade stock. Its LifeShine Vehicle Protection System (VPS) is ahead of the curve when it comes to paint protection, by employing the latest technology. LifeShine’s most recent formulation features colour enhancement properties to provide superior depth of colour, helping to return used cars closer to their former, ‘as new’ paint finish. Tests carried out with four competitor products showed that the improved LifeShine product had a superior depth of colour difference of up to 31%.

Autoglym’s nationwide LifeShine support team works with retailers across a wide spectrum of deaelrships. A dedicated LifeShine Business Manager supports each dealership to identify conversion opportunities and provides ongoing training and back-up. Training covers all aspects of the LifeShine sales process, a full overview of the guarantee and how to respond to frequently asked questions. Customers purchasing the LifeShine VPS are also provided with a comprehensive aftercare pack. Containing award-winning Autoglym products, the Aftercare Collection provides drivers with everything they need to keep their car in showroom condition.

LifeShine has also proven to deliver the complete and most profitable VPS solution for dealers with independent research revealing that dealers achieve, on average, increased penetration rates of 8.6% with LifeShine. Some have achieved a boost of as much as 80%.

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