In September the average UK dealer posted a profit of £50,000 , according to business specialists ASE.
“This is a very good result and sees the average site £36,000 ahead of the result for the same period in 2011,” said ASE chairman Mike Jones.
Jones said profitability had been driven by increases in new vehicle sales with dealers also keeping a cap on costs.
The performance had been helped by some dealer groups only including volume bonus at the end of the quarter once achieved, rather than “drip feeding” in on a monthly basis expecting to hit the target.
Used vehicle performance has improved compared to 2011, with the fall in the used to new ratio a result of the large increase in average volume of new vehicles sold.
Used vehicle margins are up and are now averaging over £1,000 per unit and over 12%.
“This has been driven by an improvement in focus allied to stability of used car prices with minimal book drops during 2012,” said Jones.
But service performance was difficult with lower volumes passing through the department leading to the ongoing fall in overhead absorbtion.
“Only those dealers who have revolutionised their sales process are managing to reverse this trend,” he said.
“With a fair wind during the final quarter we could end the year with an average return of over 1.0% which will be a great result given the current economic backdrop,” he added.
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