Skoda Set to Shake up Used Car Buying Process
Skoda is piloting a new approach to selling used cars that will attempt to make the process more personal for potential customers. People who are trading in or upgrading their Skoda will be asked to provide information on details such as the car’s nickname, what personality traits it has, and what memories it helped to create. This information will then be shared with potential future owners in an attempt to give them a greater insight into a more personal side of the car’s history.
Nick O’Neill, national used car manager for Skoda UK, said: “For the sales guys in the showroom, it’s a different conversation starter. It’s really about generating that initial interest and having a nice conversational topic and appealing to the emotional side of a purchase rather than the purely rational. Then the sales guys can step in and talk about what the car comes with and all of that additional information.”
Based on a survey of 2,000 people and the cars they owned previously, O’Neill said that Skoda managed a 73 per cent reconsideration rate – the highest out of any manufacturer the company tested. “We have such a high reconsideration rate that we thought to ourselves, ‘What better people to help sell our used cars than the previous owners’, because 73 per cent of them, the research shows, would be willing to buy another Skoda,” he added.
Skoda has chosen the London-based Willis Motor Company as the location for the three-month pilot.
Proprietor Dennis Willis said: “We’ve been selling used cars for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen first-hand the way that the relationship between owners and their cars has changed. People don’t just own a car now – they love it, it becomes part of them and their life. No one has done anything like this in the industry to reflect that shift: Skoda is breaking new ground.”
Commenting on what this approach would mean for Skoda dealers around the country if it proves successful, O’Neill said: “This is part of a long-term strategic overhaul for used cars.
“We highlighted this to our retailers at a conference recently, so we’re looking to redesign certain parts of the features and benefits programme. Ultimately, if we can see demonstrable benefits – and by demonstrable I mean we can see increased internet click-though activity on the basis of what we’re doing and we can see improved stock turn and or profitability of selling used cars this way – I would seriously consider making this a part of our sales process going forward.