The good times are rolling for the UK automotive sector as new car sales continue to increase year on year.
According to The Guardian, “more than 162,000 new cars were registered in July 2013 – a 12.7% rise on the July 2012 figure”. Extrapolate those figures across the year, and roughly 1 in 33 Brits will be buying a new car this year – quite a staggering number.
This growth is especially impressive when set against other large European markets – “[in] Germany and France…sales in July rose by just 2% and 1% respectively”, according to the article.
Market demand for new cars is affected by a wide variety of external factors. Rising incomes, availability of credit, consumer confidence, petrol & maintenance costs; broadly speaking, a healthy automotive sector indicates a healthy economy. Right now house prices are increasing, factory output is growing, and more new cars are being sold – all signs that the economic outlook is positive.
With the economic circumstances as they are, automotive manufacturers and dealerships would be wise to redouble their efforts to attract prospective customers. Clearly consumer propensity-to-spend is riding high – that’s an opportunity that needs to be maximised. Here’s our advice to the automotive industry:
Build a Strong, Sustainable Pipeline of Prospective Customers
Building sustained sales pipeline requires sustained effort – discovering new sources of prospective customers, approaching the market in a novel and attention-grabbing way, and having your house in order in terms of managing the flow of data from source to sales-team.
Engage with Customers in a Timely Manner and Maintain Engagement
As we’ve said before, it’s about striking while the iron is hot. When a customer decides that they’re in the market, they want to be communicated with there and then. Expressed interest is your permission to build engagement with a customer that can generate a sale in the short term, and repeat business in the long term.
Be as Efficient as Possible
Sales resource is finite and requires investment which means, of course, that you want to generate the very best return. How do you qualify your leads and focus in on the most likely to convert into sales? Time wasted on false leads is an inefficiency on a number of levels, so focusing on quality control will yield great benefits.