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February 21 2012 National Motorcycle Museum, Solihullamdigitaldealer.co.ukDIGITALDEALERCONFERENCEThe mobile marketing revolution: tools and apps to attract and sell servicesHow do consumers behave and research online?Controlling all modes of access to your businessBrand new AM event for 2012Sponsored by#AMDDThe Office of National Statistics show that 57% of the UK population over 16 are now using social media tools. Don't be fooled that this is driven by the younger generation, as 1 in 5 over 65s is now networking and researching online. Indeed the largest demographic is from 25-44 and not teenagers as people may think. Facebook itself has more than 30 million UK users. With Facebook accounting for 16% of all time spent online in the UK its obvious why brands can no longer ignore this 'virtual' marketplace.

What's in store for 2012A look at what's likely to happen to the new and used car market in the next 12 monthsUsed car analysisBy Adrian Rushmoremanaging editor, Glass'sWhen asking dealers about their sales prospects for January we received a mixed response ranging from 'it is too difficult to call' to 'I don't know, but we will just have be prepared for what­ever comes our way'. It is against this backdrop of uncertainty that we attempt to give some guidance for dealer pros­pects in 2012.The forecasts for new car sales from the key commentators are variable, to say the least. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is saying there will be a modest recovery from the 1.94/1.95 million units. In contrast, the National Franchise Dealer Association suggests that registrations will reach 1.84m, but could be as low as 1.8m units. What is more important is the genuine demand for new cars which, of course, is much more difficult to ascertain. A consensus of trade opinion would put the true demand at least 200,000 units lower than the overall registration total. Popular opinion would also suggest that new car sales this year will be no better than last. To reinforce this, Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, stated last November that growth over the next few quarters is likely to be markedly weaker than was predicted by the bank in August, and that the elevated uncertainty will cause businesses to postpone invest­ment, and households to spend less. This comment does not factor anything like the worst case scenario for the fate of the euro and the implications for UK banks in terms of liquidity and their future ability to offer credit.So, if we say optimistically that the true demand for new cars is to remain flat, the only question is to what extent manufacturers will choose to force the market through registration exercises. In other words, if total registrations this year are going to exceed those of 2011, there will need to be more than 200,000 self-registrations. This, of course, is not beyond the bounds of possibility especially as we have seen an escalation in these activities during 2011. This is in spite of the low value of the pound against the euro which currently stands at e1.16, and is supposedly too low for manufacturers to discount much below the normal terms of business. Sales of new cars in the eurozone are likely to have been slightly down on the previous year (perhaps 1%) with Germany the only country to buck the downward trend. Recovery is not on the cards for this year and current estimates suggest that as many as three million cars will be Adrian Rushmore'If total registrations are to exceed those of 2011 there will need to be more than 200,000 self-registrations'Adrian Rushmore, Glass's