18 Apr 2024

Dealer doldrums

FRANCHISED dealerships will have to rethink their approach to aftersales in 2012, according to an industry expert.

Karl Davis of Coachworks Consulting said that the only way that franchises could move out of the doldrums is if they accept that their current way of running their business ‘is flawed’.

“National demand levels next year will leave no room for Dealer Principals and directors to hide behind technology” he said. “Too often in the past (franchises) have happily forked out £100,000-plus on enquiry management IT systems without any thought to culture change, leadership and building rapport with customers.”

Davis adds that dealerships are often ready to throw money at IT, without managing the basics like answering the phone promptly: “In this sort of climate, it’s no longer enough for leaders to invest in enquiry management technology and then wash their hands of the matter thinking they’ve done their bit. Enquiry management and aftersales systems are no substitute for effective leadership.”

The remarks came on the same day that Saab entered liquidation and Renault announced it is going to halve its model range and close up to 55 dealerships across the UK.