MotorTrader Special Focus: Paint Protection

In September’s issue of Motor Trader, AutoProtect were asked to comment on their Special Focus: Paint Protection.
Alex Youngs, National Sales Manager Paint Protection, has provided his response below.

What advice would you give to dealers on maximising sales of Paint Protection in the September plate-change month and the final quarter of 2015?

Consumers want that new car look, smell and feel, but simply put, ‘stuff’ gets in the way.

The traditional Sunday car cleaning ritual is largely a thing of the past. Over a 1,000 consumers polled for research published in April revealed that 31% of men had never washed their own car and of those who had, only 12% said they did it regularly. Three-in-four women have never washed their own car.

In simple terms, a car and their owner benefit from paint protection. So whether it is a brand new or used car, dealers should always adopt an ‘abundance mentality’. Every customer can benefit from paint protection; giving every customer the capacity to choose paint protection will make the lives of a significant number of customers easier.

The new FCA rules on GAP come into force in September. Do you these have any indirect implications to the way Paint Protection is sold by dealers?

The new regulations for the promotion of GAP provide a springboard for all added-value services. I hope that what we will see is a far more positive and enlightened approach that sees dealers discussing all of the added-value options that are available and which may benefit the customer.

I think it is a healthy thing that we move to develop the showroom approach to vehicle sales, to step beyond just the vehicle and potentially finance. As an industry, we need to widen the number of products per customer to reflect the desire for a great reliable product and maximum convenience. All added-value services are designed to help support this principle.

What impact does paint protection has on the residual values of used cars?

As supply into the remarketing cycle improves, the industry is seeing downward pressure on residual values. Condition is a key factor in enhancing both conversion levels and values. All things being equal a car with paint protection can expect to outperform one without, in the same way that an extended warranty or FSH will aid the future value.

Can you give an idea of your penetration levels for paint protection for new cars compared to used?

Frustratingly, the span of performance is considerable across our customers. The greatest influencing factor is a dealer’s commitment to the product. What is clear from the April research outlined above is that every car buyer can benefit. Providing a product that carries the Williams brand name and which is endorsed by racing legend Nigel Mansell is a great platform to see sales grow regardless of vehicle age or type.

One of the areas we are focusing upon in the post September GAP change is a drive on continuous improvement in other add-on services. A dealer just starting a drive on paint protection can best benefit by striving to see month-on-month progress, thereby embedding the product as a natural part of every sale. Our team is on hand to support this fresh approach.