ŠKODA pilot usher in new era for used car sales

26/10/2016
​ŠKODA is piloting a new approach to selling used cars to make the process more personable and more informative to customers.

The trial, which starts today at Willis Motor Company in London and lasts for three months, sees insight from previous owners used to help attract new ones. Anyone trading in and upgrading their ŠKODA will share information such as the car’s name, its personality traits and special family memories that it has helped to create.

These details will then be passed on to potential customers so they can get to know more about their new car than just its mileage and service history. If successful, ŠKODA will extend the programme across its entire retail network.

Research* conducted by ŠKODA to help shape the pilot found that a quarter (24%) of the British public think the used car industry needed a modern new approach. Of those surveyed, just 6% called it “fun” and 5% thought the sector was “innovative”.

Nick O’Neill, National Used Car Manager for ŠKODA UK, said: “Since the dawn of the automobile, the used car sales process has largely remained the same. However, as our research shows, many people feel that some change is needed.

“After buying a house, a car is the most expensive purchase that most of us will ever make. When you look round prospective homes, it can help to add appeal to a property if you see happy photos of the current owner and their family hanging on the wall. You understand that if someone can love it there, you can too. We’re applying a similar logic to the used car sales experience.”

Among the 2,000 British drivers that ŠKODA spoke to, almost a fifth (19%) described their car as “part of the family”, 40% said it had helped to create magical memories, and more than a third (36%) had given it a nickname. Nearly two fifths (39%) of the respondents said that learning more about their prospective new set of wheels from the previous owner would make the sales experience more compelling.

Dennis Willis, Proprietor of Willis Motor Company, said: “We’ve been selling used cars for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen first-hand the way that the relationship between owners and their cars has changed. People don’t just own a car now – they love it, it becomes part of them and their life. No one has done anything like this in the industry to reflect that shift: ŠKODA is breaking new ground.”

In an extension to the showroom pilot, all Willis Motor Group ŠKODA ads on Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace, will also provide the name the car has been given by its previous owner, the personality traits it exhibits, and the special memories it has helped to create.

Rakesh Patel, Commercial Director at AutoTrader, added: “In what is an increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s vital that car brands find more creative and engaging ways to target the right car buyers, at the right time; with the right message. This latest campaign for ŠKODA is a perfect example of how using our audience and creative solutions can deliver targetted, result-driven campaigns that also have scalability in mind.”

Following record sales performance for ŠKODA fleet over the past year, two senior appointments have been made to continue the growth of True Fleet. Matt Hattersley has been appointed as national fleet sales manager and James Watson as regional contract & leasing manager for the south.
ŠKODA is upgrading the smallest member of its model range. The ŠKODA CITIGO is being launched with three or five doors and many new design, technology and equipment features. The city car stands out in the crowd. The front, side and rear sections display precise shapes, defined edges and smooth surfaces. Instantly recognisable as an attractive, modern and practical city runabout. The ŠKODA CITIGO embodies modern technology and modern urban mobility.
The ŠKODA Citigo has been named the UK’s Safest Used First Car 2017 by Co-op Insurance, in partnership with UK safety organisation Thatcham Research. Created to highlight the safest and most protective used car options for first time buyers, the award is the first of its kind in the UK.

The new Kodiaq, Superb and Octavia proved an unbeatable trio as ŠKODA took home three category wins at the 2017 Auto Express New Car Awards and a special award for its Reconnection advertising campaign. The awards were made at the title’s annual ceremony in central London, where the judging panel praised ŠKODA’s winning models for their quality, practicality and value for money.

​It’s the vRS that packs the mightiest punch ever: the new Octavia vRS 245 has just touched down in the UK. Delivering 245PS and 370Nm of torque, the new sporting flagship of the range launches with an equally headline-grabbing price that starts from £27,595.

ŠKODA has produced the 500,000th third-generation FABIA in Mladá Boleslav today. At the same time, the manufacturer is celebrating another milestone: the four millionth ŠKODA FABIA since the series debuted in 1999. The jubilee vehicle is a ŠKODA FABIA COMBI with a 1.0 TSI petrol engine and an automatic DSG transmission in moon-white. With 91,400 deliveries in the first five months of 2017, the popular small car is currently ranked second on the ŠKODA bestseller list behind the OCTAVIA.