Innovative ideas for profit improvement within the motor industry
By Bill Naylor F.I.M.I

Those of you who are reading this are well ahead of the game. “Why?” you may ask…

Over the past 4 months I have been trying to expand the circulation of the “Company Doctors Magazine” by email, and while many of our dealerships in the UK are connected to the internet, either through their manufacturer, and web site for email it is usually the administration department or accounts department that picks up the emails.

Very few of the line managers or staff are themselves connected either at their desks or more importantly at home.

My initial research shows that out of every 8 managers only one had internet at home, the other 7 knew of it from work and see it from time to time, generally however the email lands on his or her desk ,and the managers had no idea how to log on, send a reply or pull off an attachment.

This leaves me a bit concerned, especially all the hype regarding new and used cars being sold on the Internet and the demise of vehicle selling from dealerships. I agree that we must invest in web sites to keep up with the growing technology but if our own staff are not on the Internet,

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“who are these people who are expected to visit our web sites and buy from us?.”

My current gut feel, for what it is worth, is that the Web sites for new cars are being used for information, comparison of models, and directing customers to their nearest dealer, which is fine. And used car sites for specialist cars without doubt is very important. However see if you can get your head round this.

If 80% of all the used cars advertised on the internet are selling for more than £6500 yet 76% of the motoring public spend less than £6500 when they buy a car, this only leaves 24% to buy off the internet. Then ask yourself how many of these 24% are on the internet at home or at work and know how to email?.

A simple equation if there are 3500 new retail cars sold in your area, it is far to say that there will be 14000 used cars sold (sorry to those of you in Zimbabwe you wish) of those 14000 24% that is 3360 will be sold for more than £6500 leaving 10640 to be sold for less than £6500. Therefore if all we advertise on the Internet is cars over £6500 then all we are appealing to is 3360 plus 3500 new total of 6860 that is assuming that they are on the Internet. Where will the other 10640 people buy their cars from?.

Can you help me? Could you do a survey among your employees, friends etc who are in the motor industry and email me back with the percentage who are on the internet at home, and the percentage who could afford to buy a car for more than £6500, R66002, $9750. The results of this survey will give us all an idea of just how big the internet usage is among the motor industry staff, and also if we have a training need at work, at the same time bring us down to earth as to the true return we are likely to get on our web site investment in the year 2000.

This could be an interesting project for those of you in the UAE, Oman, South Africa, Australia, USA and Canada. Find out what the average used car selling price is, then compare that with those being marketed on the Internet by dealers and the .com used car sites. I think you will have a shock at just how many people can actually buy off the Internet.

So we have two areas to look at:-

How many people you know in the motor industry who have Internet at home, and can afford to spend more than £6500 on a used car.

How many of your employees, friends in the motor industry know how to send and receive an email and pull off an attachment.

Just because you have Internet and can do it, do not assume everyone else can.

They can not buy cars off the Internet if they do not know how to do it.

Please give me some feed back as this is very important to our Retail Industry, those of us who have been doing it for years and those of us just about to invest heavenly in it.
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“Company Doctors Magazine” is prepared by Bill Naylor F.I.M.I of Bill Naylor Associates, Consultants to the Motor Industry, to be used as discussion documents for delegates taking degree level 5 NVQ in management.

Currently it is issued free of charge to interested parties who want to improve the profitability of their business, and to those who have an open and receptive mind to managing change in the 21st century.

Bill Naylor has spent 9 years studying dealers who make in excess of 5% net on turnover, visiting dealers in the Middle East, Spain, Europe, and America. He is the author of “Customer Service in the Motor Industry” and the “Retail Motor Industry Tool Kit” which has been sold worldwide. He also operates from his leaning centre in Cumbria, United Kingdom a three day residential workshop covering “Sales & Marketing” and ” Profit improvement from after sales”. He also operates one day dealer visits with his road show “Innovate or Liquidate its your move”.

Bill can be contacted on by telephoning +44 (0) 1900 881409 or
fax +44 (0) 1900 881140