Increased demand for automatics and estates outstrips stock

Exchange and Mart analysis reveals lack of supply could be an opportunity for dealers

The latest search activity analysis from Exchange and Mart reveals a steady rise in demand for automatic cars and estates, but it warns, supply is not meeting demand. When it comes to manufacturer preferences, Exchange and Mart analysis also confirms that demand for Ford and Mercedes outweighs the level of stock available. To keep one step ahead of the competition and maximise sales opportunities, Exchange and Mart is urging dealers to replenish forecourts with ‘on trend’ stock.

Interestingly, reflecting a growth in demand, dealer stock of automatic vehicles is actually increasing – accounting for 24% of dealer stock now, compared to 17%, just a year ago. However, in searches where transmission type is chosen, automatics account for 32% of the selections, suggesting that rising stock levels are not keeping pace with consumer popularity. Similarly, estate searches have increased from 8% to 17% of body type searches over the last year, while only accounting for 11% of current dealer stock.

Debra Healy, Digital Director for Exchange and Mart explains, “Some of the reasons for the rise in demand for automatic cars could be that automatic gearboxes are getting better, ensuring they give a comparable level of performance or sometimes better performance and fuel economy than manual boxes. In addition, greater congestion on the roads means more people are turning to automatics to make their daily commute a bit less stressful.”

“When it comes to body types, dealers should be looking for stock that offers the extra boot space that comes with estates. It’s clear from the analysis, that the market needs to catch up with the demand. Dealers have an opportunity to fill the gaps in the market and the figures show just where those gaps are. Similarly, Ford, Mercedes and Volkswagen are seeing demand outstrip stock, so dealers should make sure they’re promoting any models by these manufacturers.“

Looking at stock versus searches on popular colours, smart retailers should be buying more white cars. Currently, searches for white vehicles stand at 18%, with stock languishing on just 11%. However, silver remains the most popular colour, with black close behind.

Concludes Debra Healy: “Our analysis gives dealers a good idea of what car buyers are looking for right now, so when it comes to purchasing new stock, retailers need to quickly take advantage of these trends and then market stock cleverly.”

Exchange and Mart’s Dealer Selling Trends
Colour Stock Searches
1 Silver 19% 24%
2 Black 18% 19%
3 Blue 13% 10%
4 Grey 11% 5%
5 White 11% 18%

Makes Stock Searches
1 Vauxhall 12% 9%
2 Ford 12% 16%
3 Volkswagen 8% 10%
4 Mercedes 6% 9%
5 Nissan 5% 2%

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