AM News Show: Auto retailers need to adopt a ‘recessionist mindset’, says Suzuki GB’s Dale Wyatt

Suzuki GB automotive director Dale Wyatt has told auto retailers it’s time to stop the back-slapping and start planning with a ‘recession mindset’ to succeed in a cost of living crisis.

Speaking to AM news and features editor Tom Sharpe for the latest episode of the AM News Show podcast, the brand leader voiced his opposition to the agency retail model, discussed the challenges of supply from Suzuki and shared the thinking behind its new #GoodDifferent marketing campaign.

But after an intense period of meetings with franchisees on Suzuki GB brand priorities and values, he also said retailers need to execute a strict plan after the crunch and boom period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. .

Reflecting on the change the pandemic has brought to the industry, Wyatt said, “We have all been able to spend more time at home with our families and we want more. And it’s affected how dealers, employers, and employees view work.

“The other thing is that we got lazy. We had a year of skewed profitability.

“I got tired of the number of people cheering and celebrating the great things they were doing because of environmental change rather than the actions they took.

“I wanted to say to our dealers ‘if you acted and executed the plan brilliantly, but if you didn’t do anything and the market lifted you, look at you because the tide is turning’.”

He added: “It’s about reminding dealers of the need to have clean habits and do what they need to do to be successful.”

Wyatt urged auto retailers to implement a plan that would prepare them for the challenges ahead, as consumer confidence seemed increasingly hit by inflation of around 10%.

“A lot of people complain about the lack of success of a plan they didn’t write down,” he said. “I think it’s important that you actually develop a plan and execute it.

“It’s important during termination to be clear about what your value proposition is and why they should choose you.

“Thinking about how you attract a retailer with a recessionary mindset is one of the key ingredients.”

Earlier this week, AM released another of the latest episodes of the AM News Show podcast, featuring Steven Eagell, Group General Manager Steven Eagell.

In it, he explains his role in ensuring that car retail group AM100 recruits “better than me” so that it has the skills to succeed.

Eagell also discussed the challenges of transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs), new car supply shortages and its growth strategy following its recent acquisition of dealership Inchcape Oxford Toyota.

To view this and other episodes of the AM News Show podcast, which is produced in partnership with Armchair Marketing, click here.