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

25 hours later &the brilliant #TeamAutoTrader reached Croatia for @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen. Congratulations guys & massive well done to everyone involved in this great cause. If you'd like to donate & help raise funds for @BenSupport4Auto just visit: https://t.co/bOlmSpzI1N https://t.co/1SV5VQbUJy
It's been a long night for #TeamAutoTrader on the @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen as they try to get as far away as possible for @BenSupport4Auto. But where could they be...and where are they heading 🤔 Keep racking up those miles guys 🚙 https://t.co/p1RmNsY5Uj
And they're off! Border one done for #TeamAutoTrader in this year's @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen. Guesses welcome for where they're aiming for...🚗 https://t.co/PWU4eLTaCW
Good luck to everyone taking part in the @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen event tonight, especially the brilliant (& brave!) Auto Trader team. We can't wait to see how far everyone can get in 25 hours & how much is raised for the amazing @BenSupport4Auto https://t.co/T67MO99SYN
The latest findings from the Fastest Selling Index reveal that used Euro 6 diesels are bucking the trend seen in the new car market, making up half of the top 10 fastest turners. @SEATUK takes the top spot for fastest selling diesel & petrol. Read more https://t.co/wukyRJIc4y https://t.co/kZIosLwEBQ
With new car sales falling & Sept registrations under performing how do you maximise every opportunity to reach car buyers, generate incremental leads & win in your area of influence?Join our free #ATInsight webinar at 11am Friday to find out.Register here https://t.co/JV1hbWRBFK https://t.co/MTeDLB1fu3
T-minus 10 minutes until our free Market Report webinar, during which we'll be delving into the future of car retailing and the impact (and opportunities) changing consumer attitudes towards online purchase is and will have on the industry. Tune in here https://t.co/11QovV64xq https://t.co/tDQQ1TYR16
"It's essential that the government makes a commitment to outline a clear and beneficial deal in order to ensure our industry has what it needs to secure its future success.” @RMI_NFDA Chairman Peter Johnson at tonight's RMI Annual Dinner https://t.co/mkD6wEi5be
To mark #WorldMentalHealthDay2019 today, @BenSupport4Auto has launched its first ever whitepaper on the topic - one of the biggest issues affecting the industry's workforce & could cost employers up to £1.2bn a year. Download your free copy here: https://t.co/gR9ahHXt8Z https://t.co/5VAoNDLYCt
Well done and massive congratulations to everyone at @BCA_Auctions for winning Auction House of the Year at the @MotorTraderMag #MTIndAwards 2019 🥂🥂🥂 https://t.co/3lk60FsHRw

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience