Fleet News

Gloomy forecast for dealers

A GLOOMY outlook is predicted for the UK's retail motor trade as outlets close and profitability is hit. However, while independent dealers are being hit the hardest, major dealership groups are diversifying into areas such as car leasing, car rental and aftermarket operations in a bid to boost profits.

While sales figures show fleet sales increasing, retail sales are declining and, according to MarketLine International's new report, called UK Motor Distributors, the outlook for 1996 is weak with some dealers predicting substantial price cuts to boost sales.

The report concludes that: The nearly new car market is destabilising the UK's new car market; Independent dealers are being hardest hit; To improve profitability, UK dealers are diversifying within the motor industry. Despite the dramatic increase in the sale of nearly new cars, the value of the UK new car market last year increased 8.5% to £21.3 billion from £19.7 billion in 1994.

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