Fleet News

Dealers turn attention to aftersales add-ons

DROPPING used car prices which are hitting leasing rates are also forcing car dealers to rethink the way they do business. They are treating sales of their cars as extras - pulling in real profits from aftersales add-ons.

Peripheral business such as finance, warranties and 'bolt-on' equipment has become a lifeline for firms trying to shift stock at zero-profit, with prices under pressure from aggressive pricing in the new car market. CAP Motor Research says those who have taken this tactic are maintaining profit levels and in some cases reporting increases, despite selling fewer cars and cutting screen prices.

Andrew Wilkinson, CAP publishing director, said: 'There are a lot of doom and gloom merchants out there who are so relieved to make a sale they immediately put their feet up. But that is just the moment to move in with the real sales pitch - when the customer has overcome his or her misgivings and is at last in buying mode.'

And, as some fleet managers have spotted, the downward trend of car prices is set to continue, meaning peripherals will become even more important. Alan Cole, chief car editor for Glass's, said: 'This situation can really not improve in the short-term, as most dealers are now gearing themselves up for the August influx of part-exchange vehicles.'

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