“CEOs in every industry are currently redefining the way they go to the market, as they wrestle with a volatile global economy and the problems in the euro zone. For automotive CEOs, the challenges are particularly acute. As a result, they must be able to accommodate local preferences and requirements and react rapidly to changing local conditions and regulations. It is a tough job that requires collaboration across the whole supply chain and entails striking a very careful balance. Automotive CEOs have to think globally, when it comes to strategy, branding, products and platforms. At the same time, they have to let the different divisions of the business act locally in tailoring needs for different markets.“
Jens Hörning, Partner
Although the volume of new car sales increased in 2011 and early 2012, the tough competition, low margins and continuous import of used cars made financial results being unchanged or becoming worse for the majority of dealers. However, dealers are optimistic and consider the car dealer business offering positive perspectives in long-term, still with possible negative trends in near future. The positive expectations were received from large dealers, who are running business for many years and have already implemented efficiency programs in their sales area.
The market gets consolidated, the number of new dealers entering the market decreases. Dealers aim to provide more services including sale of used cars and consider multi-branding. Cost reduction is a general response to the economic environment, primarily focused on marketing costs as well as on staff costs. An overall feedback from dealers is the call for improved cooperation with car importers in areas such as price policy and marketing support.