Press release

Auto Trader Market Report September 2019 | The Future of Car Retailing

WE’LL BE BUYING CARS LIKE WE ORDER FROM OCADO WITHIN A DECADE SAYS AUTO TRADER

Car retailers will adopt grocery style retail models over the next few years, marketing and increasingly selling vehicles online. This will enable consumers to decide which of the car buying jobs they do online and which they do offline.

That’s according to Auto Trader, the UK’s largest automotive marketplace. Like Waitrose, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer, dealerships will still operate physical locations, but they will no longer be used primarily as showrooms or to complete the sales process. They will be enabled through an Ocado-style retail model which will support their omni-channel approach.

Today, 45% of car buyers say that if they were buying a car on finance they would be happy to do the whole thing online. This rises to nearly two-thirds (64%) for the younger generation of buyers - 18 to 34-year olds.

Auto Trader spoke to 2,000 motorists about their car buying habits for its latest Market Report, The Future of Car Retailing, published today (26 September).

“Dealerships certainly won’t disappear, but they will continue to evolve,” explained Nathan Coe, CEO designate of Auto Trader.

“The future is about digitizing the ecosystem to enable retailers to move to a less labour and property intensive model that better serves car buyers. Successful retailers will embrace technology, invest equally in their online platform as their do their physical one, and re-evaluate the physical elements of their cost base to run more efficiently.

“A more personalised retail interaction will give consumers a seamless journey between the online and offline experiences.”

In the past, car buyers typically visited five retailers; these days that has reduced to two, but Auto Trader thinks the direction of travel is clear and in the future many cars will be bought without many visits at all.[1]

A small number of retailers have embraced digital, not just in the way they market and sell cars but in every aspect of their business including buying and pricing vehicles, and the end-to-end transaction. Today, most retailers only offer the initial vehicle selection and research journey online.

Retailers who have digitised their operations have seen stock turn – the time it takes to sell a vehicle – reduce to less than 40 days versus an industry average of 80 days. Unsurprisingly their margins are also much better – almost double in fact. “Technology can improve the car buying process enormously, making it simpler, more intuitive and more transparent, transforming the experience for consumers” said Nathan Coe.

Online sales of cars are expected to pass one million globally next year, and they will grow to six million by 2025 according to a recent Report from Frost and Sullivan. In 2018, the Report said 618,000 cars were sold online, nearly double the number sold digitally in 2017.[2]

Read the full Auto Trader Future of Car Retailing Market Report here.

[1] Auto Trader Research September 2019

[2] Frost & Sullivan Global Vehicle OEMs’ New Online Retail Strategies, Forecast to 2025

We’re truly humbled to have been awarded the Used Car Valuations Provider of the Year and Online Advertiser for Used Cars awards at this year’s @CarDealerMag Power Awards as voted for by UK #cardealers. A huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. https://t.co/CUPEDHL2T3
Our second award of the night! We're delighted to have just been awarded the Online Advertiser for Used Cars at this year's @CarDealerMag Power Awards. It means a huge amount to get this recognition from our partners. https://t.co/KHoEs9s18t
Thrilled to have been awarded Used Car Valuations Provider of the Year at this year's @CarDealerMag Power Awards. Thank you to all who voted for us. https://t.co/lHI0BDr1Ln
1 in 4 sales are being lost due to disagreements over part-ex valuations. That’s not just lost sales. But lost time and lost energy. What would these lost sales be worth to your business? #atinsightoftheday https://t.co/fiRTRo528c
Less than 24hrs until out next #webinar with Nathan Coe and @MarshallMotorGp. Register now and if you can't make it live we'll send you the recording https://t.co/lkzIgM8S0L #webinarwednesday #automotive #insights https://t.co/RePEpYeS64
It would seem Gen-Z'ers are now flocking to driving as COVID-19 restrictions get stricter. Find out more including insights from @REDDriving https://t.co/phgW2Ese7g #atinsightoftheday #GenZ https://t.co/P6chl5PmcB
Right now our panel of judges are busy reviewing the self-nomination award entries for this year’s Auto Trader Retailer Awards. Who will they decide are this year’s winners? Find out by registering to join the awards live on the 23rd October at 1pm > https://t.co/ZdjzevlJd3 https://t.co/rpobMrn4yf
In this week’s webinar Nathan Coe & @MarshallMotorGp will be discussing: -September's performance -How the job retention scheme might impact the #automotiveindustry -How #cardealers can finish the year strong & reach their year end objectives Register at https://t.co/yfbWqH66RA https://t.co/8rHpHIsSEG
Next week will see the launch of Retailer Performance Masterclasses (RPM) our all new online masterclass hub. Find out all you need to know in our latest blog post from @chrispenny222 > https://t.co/UUmrTQzbKa #RPM #autotrader #masterclass #insights #bestpractices #cardealers https://t.co/CzREOLoLbW
Our latest audience figures show no signs that last week’s Government announcement has impacted buyer demand with over 2 million visits to our site and 20 million minutes being spent on site by buyers looking for their next vehicle each day last week. #atinsightoftheday https://t.co/h0uTNtWuet

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