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Safe and'smakingyourbusinessdifferentfromthenext?Inarockymarketplaceundertoughtradingconditions,givingyourdealershipacompetitiveadvantageisessentialforattractingnewcustomerswhilstretainingtheoldones.Ifyouwanttostandoutfromthecompetition,

NewsFlexible Finance delivers boost for Vauxhall dealersManaging director Duncan Aldred says initiative has provided boost to sales and profitabilityBy Richard YarrowVauxhall's new Flexible Finance campaign launched in Q3 has helped deliver positive results despite a "challenging" retail market.Managing director Duncan Aldred said the initi­ative had delivered the boost in sales and profit­ability for dealers that everyone was looking for. "It has increased our retail market share, it's allowed dealers to talk more about affordable monthly payments than discounts, and they retain more of their margin," Aldred explained. "It also means their inventory requirements and costs are less because more cars are being built to order. It's created a more demand-driven market, a pull rather than a push, and the network is very pleased."Despite Vauxhall's September market share dropping from 12.6% to 11.2%, Aldred said he was very happy with the network's performance. "We exceeded our internal forecasts by one share point. We did less daily rental and Motability so the mix of business was much improved on a year ago. All the decline was stepping away from lower profit business."He also revealed he plans to take the daily rental buy-back percentage from the current figure of more than 50% to 70%-plus, to keep a tighter grip on RVs. The cars will continue to be sold exclusively through Network Q.Looking at Q4, Aldred said Vauxhall would exceed its year-end market share target, though not its volume predictions - adding "we won't be unique in that".With the recent revi­sion of the 2012 new car sales forecast by the SMMT, down from the 2.02 million published in January this year to 1.96m now, Aldred described the next 12 months as a carry-over year. He added: "If the market just sticks where it is, we will see 1.8m or less, so it [the SMMT prediction] assumes some pick-up. There's lots of uncertainly so I'm not sure I'd put my money on either."However, 2012 promises to be an exciting year for Vauxhall retailers. Six new products and an Astra facelift in the next 18 months means new opportunities. "Several of these offer incremental growth in new sectors and that will help us increase our market share. Higher transaction prices than our dealers have been used to, on new products like Zafira Tourer and Ampera, also means higher margins for dealers."Other new products include a four-seater convertible and the premium supermini, code­named Junior, that's due in early 2013.'Flexible Finance has allowed dealers to talk more about affordable monthly payments than discounts, and they retain more of their margins'DuncanAldred