During the first lockdown, all physical car dealers had to close.
This had a huge impact on those who didn’t have an online presence, pushing many to take their business online. Whilst businesses that operated purely online accelerated exponentially.
Although the online used car industry is becoming more attractive and therefore driving further growth, almost no one is predicting the end of the physical dealership. Rather predictions are falling in the favour of the partnership between the physical dealers and their digital marketing/presence.
Car Dealer Magazine spoke with Bill Berman, chief executive of the Pendragon dealer group (the third largest in the UK by turnover), he exclaimed that:
“By mid-May we were delivering 100 used cars a week, all bought digitally,” he then said “we thought demand might lessen as lockdown eased, but we keep fine-tuning it and the volumes keep rising. Between 16 and 19% of our Car Store sales are with home delivery and no physical interaction with the store in any way”.
At the end of the day, it is the car buyers who will determine the future of the car dealer. And according to Auto Trader & Car Dealer Magazine, it doesn’t look like the physical dealer is going anywhere:
At Autoguard Warranties, we have invested in PPE and are observing social distancing throughout the office.