Car manufacturers and dealers are suffering reputational damage as a result of unavoidable supply chain disruption, according to research from Close Brothers Motor Finance.
While two-thirds (66%) of consumers considering a new car say they understand the difficulties involved, nearly half (48%) say the delays negatively impact their perception of motor dealers. A similar proportion (46%) say long delivery times damage their view of particular car brands.
Dealers – on the front line of car retail – face some of the biggest challenges in managing customer expectations. Six-in-ten buyers (59%) believe delays take the excitement away from getting a new car., and 45% say dealers have been unable to supply them with accurate lead times.
Supply challenges are continuing to hamper the sector’s ability to meet demand. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders recorded a fifth month of consecutive decline in registrations in August, exacerbated by semi-conductor shortages and global conflict.
Some popular models now have waiting lists of more than 12 months. Figures released last month by CBMF showed the vast majority (64%) of new car buyers are not prepared to wait more than a year for any vehicle, and more than half (54%) intend to wait for production issues to ease before placing an order.
Lisa Watson, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said, “It’s disappointing to see unavoidable supply chain delays taking some of the magic out of the car buying process. It’s clear that, through no fault of their own, dealers are facing the brunt of supply chain challenges.
“The whole sector is working hard to improve lead times. Our consumer research shows dealers should work with buyers and manufacturers to ensure everyone is informed about the process. Some compromises might be possible to get cars on to customers’ driveways as soon as possible.
“This is particularly important at a time when prospective buyers, who may already be put off by delivery delays, will be considering their purchases even more carefully because of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis”.