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've extended the deadline to complete our digital retailing survey being run in partnership with the @RMI_NFDA and ICDP. Complete the survey before Friday to receive a personalised benchmark report👉https://t.co/qjQqIedy43 https://t.co/N3CLR386Uz
Join our next webinar where we’ll be sharing how you can sell vehicles at pace, whilst extracting the most profit and ensuring you allow time to restock and optimise your forecourt. Register now👉https://t.co/5dI2g8GX3Z https://t.co/ZOfgM21yU7
What do Canadian Thanksgiving and @AndrewKorpela's appetite have to do with buying a car online? Find out in this week's tip of the week where we share some tips on how to grab the attention of a growing buyer segment. https://t.co/Eilwe3LhXm
The speed at which used cars sell continues to remain far below what we saw before the pandemic, with last months analysis showing that it took a median of just 24 days for used cars to sell, 3 days quicker than in August. https://t.co/nl83T3y2Wl
Fantastic news 🥳 A huge thank you to everyone that voted for us this year - we're very proud and delighted that our retailer partners have gotten so much value from our platform, particularity during such a challenging period for our industry https://t.co/0xXHDcYemG
COP26 has been dominating headlines over the last few weeks. But what exactly is it? What impact could it have on the automotive industry and why does it matter to you? https://t.co/nGyGxeZvzN
Find out how @HendyGroup, @LookersGroup, @westwaynissan and @PeterVardy are embracing the electric vehicle revolution and enticing consumers into making the switch👉https://t.co/o9S11O5QXS https://t.co/KU8wBqwOXH
In our latest market update, we share our latest audience data and look at whether we are continuing to see strong levels of demand from consumers. https://t.co/p2DSkN8cAv
It's Friday which can only mean 1 thing. It's tip of the week time! In this episode, @AndrewKorpela goes through the findings of the telephone phase of our mystery shopping and explains how you can make the most from a telephone enquiry. https://t.co/Mg0UtWa3aM
September was a month of records for the automotive industry. But we also saw some unexpected challenges and opportunities. Find out more in our latest Market Intelligence report which details our latest insights along with the impact of the fuel crisis👉https://t.co/blOWIg8ZY7 https://t.co/v7SZuYcRM4

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