More manufacturers selling direct to the public is going to change the dealership model in future.
The effects of the growth of franchise dealer agency models on the remarketing sector are not yet understood but could be far-reaching, according to the Vehicle Remarketing Association.
Last year, Genesis launched as a manufacturer only on-line sales platform supported by its own experience centres in strategic UK cities and intends to liaise with customers at all touch points in a sales and service arrangement, so traditional dealers will not be included.
At the trade body’s first webinar of 2022, Jim Saker, professor emeritus at Loughborough University and president of the IMI, spoke extensively about the likely impact of agency agreements on the motor industry.
Philip Nothard, chair at the VRA, said, “Jim’s presentation was very thought provoking and created perhaps more discussion than any other VRA webinar we have held in recent times.
“What is clear is that much expert thought and commentary has been given over to how agency agreements will impact on dealers and on manufacturers, but comparatively little to the remarketing sector. However, structural change on that level cannot fail to have wide-ranging effects for our members, we believe.”
Philip explained that the agency model could prompt change in almost every part of remarketing from vehicle preparation and movement through to sales platforms and disposal channels.
“The agency model means that manufacturers will not just own and control more vehicles that are being remarketed but will aim to make them part of the franchise universe for longer, well into third life cycles.
“For remarketing companies, this could mean that the ultimate customer changes from dealer to manufacturer, and that they could well be working with older vehicles that need to be prepared to franchise dealer standards.
“Manufacturers will also have more data available about customers and vehicles, and this could affect how they are approached from a remarketing point of view.
“There are a whole range of potential implications and one of the tasks for the VRA this year is to work through the possibilities and look at how best our members can maximise these opportunities in the future.”