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Used car dealer test: mostly listless, sometimes impolite

Matthias Seeburger
Used car dealer test
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D now you can earn money by selling used cars the manufacturer also realized. More and more brands are developing promising concepts in order to trade professionally. In addition to the extensive vehicle inspection, many programs offer warranty policies, maintenance contracts and special financing. But as well as the actions of the corporations are meant, in practice they often come to nothing. Because when it comes to selling second-hand vehicles, the sales partners are anything but motivated.

That is the gloomy insight that can be drawn from the current dealer test by the consulting firm Concertare. The notes of the testers, who visited 700 car dealerships of 19 brands nationwide with used car programs or special campaigns, above all uncover weaknesses in dealing with customers. Although the exhibition buildings can usually convince at first, the positive impression often ends behind the entrance door. This is due to the fact that many salespeople do not respond to the needs of their customers and deal with them almost impolite.

No manufacturer with a satisfactory result

'The salesman had time but was not interested in advising me. His listlessness increased when I asked for a cheaper vehicle,' noted a tester after visiting an Audi dealer. Another reported from a Toyota representative: 'The salesman tried to process the advice quickly. That was a very superficial needs analysis.'

The excerpts make it clear how careless the used car salesmen in the branded car dealerships are deal with customer requests. No manufacturer achieves a satisfactory result in the needs analysis. Seat is still the best with a meager 65 out of 100 points, but only mediocre. The result is even worse when it comes to sales arguments. Although the cars were presented appropriately (81 points in the industry average), the dealers did not comment on the advantages of the used vehicle programs.

If the testers asked specifically, some sellers even reacted irritably. 'You can buy the car or not, then someone else will take it. An A3 goes away quickly and always,' was the answer from an Audi salesman, for example. So it is hardly surprising that the testers gave retailers aattest weak sales arguments. A result of 47 points on average is a poor performance.

Used car buyers are not welcome customers

It appears that used car buyers are not welcome customers in many branded car dealerships. Because when it comes to signing a contract, only Audi (68 points) and Lexus (67 points) are not far from good grades. At this point, too, mediocrity reigns. A look at tracking shows that retailers have little interest in customer loyalty. If you don't conclude a contract immediately, you usually don't hear from the dealership anymore.

On the other hand, when it comes to test drive offers, dealers are customer-friendly. Except for Kia (70 points) and Alfa Romeo (69 points), all are in the green. The dealerships are also accommodating in the price negotiations. Many testers noted that the sellers offered discounts. A positive development in this chapter - 78 points on average are impressive.

Both disciplines score important points, but nobody gets the grade 'satisfactory'. Mercedes (69 points) just missed the target, Audi and Lexus (67 and 66 points) are four points short of satisfactory results. At VW and BMW, the gap is even greater.

This is how testing was done

Concertare has 700 brand dealers in Germany tested. 19 manufacturers were selected who offer used vehicle programs or special campaigns through their sales partners and branches. Tests were carried out in various categories.

However, only those chapters that are relevant to the purchase decision are decisive for the end result. These are: discussion atmosphere, needs analysis, quality of advice, product demonstration, sales arguments, price negotiations, financing, conclusion orientation, test drive and follow-up.

Sales arguments: Dealers don't understand how to make a car tasty for customers close. Because they quickly run out of arguments. The special used car programs, with which customers are to be convinced, were hardly mentioned in the test.

Test drive: While the topic test drive often causes problems in the new car sector, the situation is in the used car sector can be described as relaxed - test drives are offered. On average, the industry achieves a remarkable value of 77 points.

Conclusion: It can be assumed that customers have specific purchase intentions when they enter a car dealership. However, the industry sees it differently. Many vehicle dealers do not even prepare a sales offer or offer information material.

Needs analysis: When buying a used car, it is also important to clarify with the customer which type of car is the best choiceis. But on this point, no brand creates a good result, the retailer is too superficial to the needs of the buyer.

Follow-up: If a customer leaves the dealership without signing the sales contract is out of sight and out of mind for most salespeople. Customer care is poor for all brands. Dealers rarely follow up after a conversation.

More about the study: Concertare GmbH, IndustriestraƟe 50, 51399 Burscheid, Tel .: 02174/79080, E-Mail: autostudie@concertare.de, Internet: www.concertare.de

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