AutoProtect Motor Trader Feature: Kia’s Local Hero

Making it easy for customers to buy cars

Mike Macaulay, Head of Corporate Sales, AutoProtect

A seaside district in Hampshire may seem an unlikely location for what is officially the biggest selling approved used Kia dealer of all time in the UK, but that is what Fine Cars has achieved through their Lee-on-Solent and Gosport showrooms.

As surprising as the location, their showrooms are modest because they are based in residential areas. What the business demonstrates is the way that a traditional family dealership can leverage the power of good processes and digital media with a strong service-led ethos when working with a supportive franchise partner to be more than just competitive.

What fascinates me are the digital and process attributes outlined by Brett Duke. There can be no doubt that for most customers their car buying journey starts online. What we are now starting to see is this evolve into a wider ‘interest to key handover’ model. In this scenario, it can be argued that the key success criteria are creating customer awareness/interest and the efficiency of the process. Amazon is a perfect example of this model. Fine Cars has switched onto this trend and reaped the rewards.

In this evolving landscape for retailing, dealers need to leverage all the available tools to establish processes that make it easier for customers. This ‘ease’ needs to include purchase and ownership. Finance demonstrates affordability and tools such as GAP, extended warranties and paint protection can make ongoing usage easier for the customer. Increasingly they have a role to play in creating interest and differentiating a dealer’s offer. The key as Brett has shown is bringing these products to life online and in having a consistent promotional process.

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