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AM Online Used Car Market Conference 2012

AM Used Car Conference 2012

Today the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, UK was host to the 4th annual Used Car Market Conference run by Automotive Management, and I was lucky enough to attend for the second year running. Highlights included a presentation on market predictions by Adrian Rushmore, the managing editor at Glass’s Guide, lessons from Graeme Potts, the managing director of the Eden Motor Group on why dealers should be more like high street retailers, highlights from the BCA used car report 2012 presented by the ever insightful Professor Peter Cooke and a demonstration on the importance of the digital in used car marketing by Craig Stevens, director of digital marketing at Trader Media Group.

The focus for this year’s conference was definitely placed on the moving the used car industry forward in an increasingly digital age, a decisive step in the right direction towards the real issues facing the used car market from the 2011 conference.

One of the major themes running through the conference was on improving the used car customer experience with the ideal being to have the used car customers’ experience elevated to that of the new car customer. Simple things such as offering the customer a cup of tea or coffee can improve customer satisfaction, retention and profitability, elements which are sorely needed during the current economic climate.

This theme of improving customer experience was backed up by presentations from the Office of Fair Trading and the Advertising Standards Agency. The used car industry has repeatedly topped the number of complaints to the Office of Fair Trading, having roughly 4 times the number of complaints as the industry in second place, something that has to stop if dealers want to improve both the image of the used car industry, and profits.

As well as a customer focus, the importance of digital initiatives was a highlight, from aspects such as ensuring that online adverts comply with the law, ensuring that dealers have an effective digital marketing campaign in place, the increasing digitisation of remarketing and product sourcing, and how price transparency through the internet doesn’t mean a race to the bottom for prices.

Overall I found the day to be of great interest, especially as here at ICDP we have been focusing some of our research on the European used car market with the aid of industry expert Andy Carroll, and the general take home message from the conference was aligned with the issues that ICDP have identified.

If you’re interested in used cars why not come along to our used car workshop in Frankfurt on the 5th of December 2012.

Image: Car City

Written by Gareth Arnould

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