With 12 April as our re-start date it seems optimism and pragmatism reign as businesses prepare to welcome customers back to dealerships. We have asked some well-known dealerships how they have really coped and what they make of Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’.
Leeds-based Luscombe Motors’ boss Robin Luscombe rejects the suggestion that dealerships should open before other non-essential retailers. “The government has more than enough on its plate than to worry about car dealers who have successfully navigated their way through the last twelve months,” he comments. “Dealerships have been telling us they’re doing alright anyway,” he adds, rejecting the ‘special case’ argument.
His own business embraced click & collect and sales have remained steady, so he is optimistic that, whatever the new normal looks like, “life will be different but there will be plenty of business.”
Toby Richardson, MD at Richardson Ford in East Yorkshire, is very positive that not only is the Prime Minister’s roadmap the right way forward, but also that businesses can expect the much-reported ‘pent up’ surge of car buyers:
“I think the road map out of lockdown is a sensible approach,” says Toby. “We have had to adapt our business significantly over the last 12 months and have embraced click & collect/deliver. We have seen a massive increase in selling out of area with used cars and February MTD we are up 66%!
“In preparation for re-opening we will be bringing back all sales staff to hit the ground running for a much anticipated surge in business.”