Being prepared for potentially quite sudden economic shifts could be the key task facing the used car sector in 2018, says the Vehicle Remarketing Association.
The outcome of Brexit negotiations is hanging over the economy, creating the kind of uncertainty that makes business planning very difficult, said chairman Glenn Sturley.
He said: “In 2018, it is very likely that the B word is going to be unavoidable. The issue is that there remain such a wide range of potential scenarios - from a cliff edge departure from the EU through to abandoning Brexit altogether – and the outcome may not be known until the last minute.
“As the year progresses, and we get closer to the deadline for leaving the EU, this uncertainty is likely to become more acute, and the resulting impact on the overall economy more difficult to predict. It is not difficult to foresee situations where the economic effects are quite severe and sudden, especially if they are accompanied by political instability.
“Against this backdrop, the remarketing industry must maximise values for used vehicles, realising them in the quickest time possible. It might not always be easy.”
The key, said Sturley, was to remain as flexible as possible and to ensure that your organisation had access to the best quality information and support on an ongoing basis.
“Our view is that this is a time when knowing what is happening on an almost daily basis is essential for everyone working in the sector,” he said. “Factors may change very quickly that affect the remarketing outcomes achieved.
“Also, it will be important to not commit to any single remarketing method. There may well be arguments for quickly altering the disposal strategies that you are using in response to changing circumstances.”
Sturley added that the VRA expected to play an important role for its members in ensuring that they were able to tackle 2018 in the best possible shape.
He said: “We provide our members with up to date guidance and information, as well as the ability to access expertise from across the industry. This is one of those periods when the kind of support we offer can credibly be described as essential.”