Urban Science UK Study Identifies Future Look of Dealerships

By Urban Science, PRNE
Monday, June 6, 2011

CHERTSEY, United Kingdom, June 7, 2011 -

- Right time for dealerships to rethink retail strategy

Global automotive retail consulting firm, Urban Science, today announced
new findings from a retail study of automotive dealerships in the United
. The research indicates that manufacturers and dealers should
consider rethinking their future retail strategies to better serve their
customers and improve sales performance.

According to Urban Science findings, European dealerships could improve
sales performance by operating stores dedicated to single franchises and
utilizing innovate sales and marketing ideas such as a mobile sales team.

"In today's automotive retail market, dealerships could benefit greatly
by challenging some of the accepted norms in auto and adopting some practices
commonly found within retail," said Paul Dillamore, managing director of
Urban Science's U.K. office. "Current thinking is that larger showrooms will
increase sales, however, we found that dealers focused on a single brand and
making the right level of investment in marketing, their sales force and
fleets of demonstrator vehicles were the most sales effective."

Some top-line results of the study included:

    - There is a strong link between sales effectiveness and a broad
      demonstrator fleet. Manufacturers should consider utilising smaller
      locations in more creative ways, for example, shop-like environments
      that leverage the Internet and deliver demonstrators to consumer's
    - Single franchise dealerships have a 30 per cent better sales
      effectiveness rate than multi-franchise dealerships, demonstrating a
      strong link to a dealerships' brand focus. Manufacturers may want to
      reconsider the current trend of multi-franchise arrangements.
    - Marketing investment has a direct impact on sales performance,
      indicating that dealerships and OEMs should invest in more targeted
      marketing efforts.
    - Dealers benefit from having the right number of sales staff. On
      average, dealers have one salesperson for every 70 retail vehicles of
      potential, however, the most sales effective dealers have one for every
      55 units of potential. Getting the level right could result in a
      Dealership selling up to 50 additional vehicles a year.
    - Contrary to popular assumption, there is no correlation between a
      dealer's sales effectiveness and the length of their establishment. The
      implication is that new dealers can ramp up their effectiveness
      quickly, so manufacturers should not be afraid of making changes to
      their sales networks.
    - Finally, whilst profitability is impacted by service performance, sales
      effectiveness is not, suggesting a greater separation of sales and
      service establishments is likely in the future.

"Automotive retail should be viewed as a constantly evolving model,"
Dillamore added. "Data and science are critical tools to create an
understanding of how manufacturers and dealers need to adjust their retail
strategies to meet changing consumer behaviours and increase sales. Bottom
line is that OEMs need to be more experimental in their franchising options
as they consider ways to increase sales effectiveness."

The study included a sample of 770 dealers across six different brands,
all within the U.K. Urban Science unveiled the study its 2nd Annual
Automotive Retail Network Management Workshop, titled, "Dealerships of the
Future." The event included presentations by Urban Science; Karl McKeever,
brand director of Visual Thinking; and, Peter Cooke of KPMG and professor of
automotive management at Buckingham University. The annual event is offered
exclusively to Urban Science's U.K. customers

The Urban Science U.K. office is located in Chertsey, Surrey. The office
was opened in 1987 and currently employs 46 people.

About Urban Science

Founded in 1977, Urban Science is a global automotive retail consulting
firm that combines science with marketing to give companies the competitive
edge they need to increase their market share and profitability in the most
effective and efficient manner. With headquarters in Detroit, Urban Science
serves its global clientele from offices in the United States, Spain, United
, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, China, Mexico, Japan, India and
Russia. www.urbanscience.com

Matt Frendewey, The Quell Group, +1-248-649-8900, mfrendewey at quell.com

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