The importance of adapting

Harnessing opportunity
Author: Mike Edwards, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer 

John Clark provides timely insights on the importance of adapting to the prevailing trading conditions, combined with some valuable honesty about the lessons learned over the recent turbulent years. Group Managing Director Chris Clark’s recognition that the business needed to address ‘historic issues’ is refreshing, providing an example for us all.

The hard focus on creating cash reserves and working to rebalance margins as the operating landscape evolves is the crucial aspect that I take from this case study.

Chris has not allowed the cash reserve to be aspirational. He and his team have realised it by focusing on the levers that can make it a reality. Yes, used car margins have been buoyant, but John Clark’s agility in stocking and stock turn is evident, as is a focus on optimising F&I and aftersales. Making aftersales easier to buy with 0% finance and addressing the end of the PCP challenge, where customers may not be able to follow the classic switch to a new car in light of supply issues, are great examples of focusing on marginal gain opportunities. The used car PCP refinancing approach also provides opportunities for offering a new extended warranty, GAP and a new service plan, all of which can help customers de-risk their car ownership in today’s tougher environment.

These changes and their timely execution are brilliant examples of what can be achieved with effective leadership, focus, appropriate data and willing collaborators. At every turn, it is an ethos that at AutoProtect Group, we encourage and want to help. All of that, and I didn’t even touch upon John Clark’s sustainability programme. Again, this is an example for all of us. Sustainability as part of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) will be a business-critical issue we expect to hear a great deal more about in 2023.

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