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non-executive directortrading loss aheadNew car marketUsed car conferenceNewsNew carnewsAMRecruitmentIndexNews digestShowroomwith positive cash balances ahead of budget," it added in its latest statement.The announcement marks a tough beginning for Joe Doyle, its new chief executive, who has taken over the helm following the exit of Andy Duncan after a year in the post. Doyle joined this month after heading automotive service compa-nies HPI and on the advisory board of Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick. He is the former chairman of the board of National Savings and Investments.Gone are the days when the only way a dealership could get a marketing message over to the customer was via an advert in the local paper.Providing a list of cars for a customer to pore over was always such a limited means of communicating anyway. The information age has made it so much easier for the customer to 'shop' before they visit your dealerships to buy a car. They can easily go onto your website and search for a black, 09-plate Corsa, rather than trawling through a list on the off-chance you have one, while checking when they could book in for a service and what time your parts depart-ment opens in the morning.But the best advantage is the huge cost effi-ciencies this gives dealers on their marketing spend. With the launch of internet, intranet, email and SMS messaging you can now contact your customers when you want to, through the medium that suits them best, with a message that they could really be interested in. And if they want exact directions to your site, there's an app for that!Contact your clients every which wayTo find out ways in which MAPFRE ABRAXAS can help strengthen your customer relationships, call 08451 368430Nancy Rignall Head of MAPFRE ABRAXASAdvertisement feature

New car marketUsed Car ConferenceNewsNew car newsAMRecruitmentIndexNews digestShowroomBy Tim RoseLookers has reported a 2% year-on-year uplift in new car sales after Q3 trading, fuelled by growth in the fleet sector.The national car dealer group has seen fleet volumes increase by 30%. However private new car sales have fallen 10%. It said it continues to gain market share, and new car margins remain "satisfactory" and ahead of budget.Overall it described its Q3 trading perfor-mance as "satisfactory". It expects its full 2011 results to be in line with management expectations.Used car volumes in Q3 were slightly ahead year-on-year and 4% up year-to-date.Lookers said aftersales revenue and margins have remained in line with the previous year, despite the declining 0-3-year car parc. "This demonstrates the success of our continued investment in technology and procedures to improve customer reten-tion and average sales value per customer visit," the top five AM100 company said.Its independent parts division has performed in line with budget. The sale of surplus assets this year has raised £12.7m, and £21.8m of bank loans have been repaid. Fleet sector fuels Lookers' uplift in By Simon Bowkett, new car salesof Symco TrainingIf you spend more time on presenting, demonstrating and closing the deal, than on meeting, greeting, qualifying and looking at the part-exchange, you've probably got it the wrong way round.It's a mistake to assume you know what customers want and where they are coming from - which is why the top salespeople spend a lot of time on qualification before they start selling.Watch the video for a cautionary tale of what can happen when you act before knowing what the real issues are.The importance of good qualification Improve your selling skills - for freeFor a link to more free online videos, email me at or call on 01829 760 679. Or follow me on Twitter @SymcoSimon.Advertisement feature'This demonstrates the success of our continued investment in technology'