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

Missed this week's webinar with special guest @vertumotors? Well fear not - the whole webinar is now available on demand at https://t.co/A8vB2i49FU https://t.co/fpMbEkaRgB
Driving long distances? Well the best car for the job is the @UKVolkswagen Golf which scooped the Best Car for Long Distances award at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020. Find out what owners said at https://t.co/TAtdeRojpZ https://t.co/4Sj9ANaFK6
For those looking for a 7 seater you can do no better than the @VolvoCarUK #XC90. That's according to the 181,000 car owners who voted it the best 7 seater in this year's Auto Trader New Car Awards! https://t.co/M7t1X3Ic9S https://t.co/csJOtcU63N
Exactly one week ago @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/CLdSORmOV0
Exactly one week ago when @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/SAFHIczDhl
#Dacia have done it once again! The @daciauk Duster once again won the Best Value New Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020 - an award they also took home in 2019! https://t.co/vf00Z0g60W https://t.co/rn5qZX59Gh
We've seen a record number of #newcar and van #leads with new car retailers enjoying a massive 91% monthly increase in leads! Discover the latest new car data and how to drive even more leads as we see demand continue to spike now > https://t.co/8l2Mkx0ldn
Big thanks to everyone who joined today's webinar and of course to our guest speaker @vertumotors!
Reminder that next week we'll be launching #ATHighlyRated! Retailers who met the criteria will be receiving a pack next week to promote their achievements to consumers. https://t.co/UJgS71ytoP
Over to @stuart_trader who reveals the result of our earlier poll - a majority discounting prices much less or maintaining pre-#covid19 approach https://t.co/t8PfkUzrtU

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