Perrys Motor Sales managing director Darren Ardron told the AM News Show podcast he felt the retail car industry was coming back to reality in 2022 – but outlined the reasons for the optimism.
Ardron joined AM news and features editor Tom Sharpe in the AM News Show studio at Armchair Marketing headquarters in Northamptonshire for a panel discussion with the chairman of the Automotive Industry Institute (IMI ), Jim Saker, and ICDP Executive Director Steve Young.
And reflecting on the market outlook in a year that will likely be defined by continued vehicle supply headaches, Ardron said retailers should be mindful of rising overheads.
“What we have to be very aware of is that we are now starting to bring reality back into the costs,” Ardron said.
“We have had this false situation for the last two years, with reduced staff and leave and reduced rates and support. We are back to reality now.
“We just have to watch our cost base per minute.”
Ardron made his comments ahead of the outbreak of war in Ukraine, a situation that dampened hopes of a pick-up in auto supply this year.
The war has also sparked fears of severe inflation in the UK as energy prices, fuel costs and food bills rise.
This change prompted the Bank of England to raise the interest rate to 0.75%, with further hikes expected in the coming months.
Speaking to the AM News Show podcast, Ardron said: “Obviously a big part (of the success of the auto retail sector in 2022) depends on supply. If supply is coming, then yes, it’s going to be a fantastic year, I predict it could be Q3 or Q4, but it could also go all the way to 2023.
“Although there is still this scarcity of used car supply which is also dragging down margins.”
Ardron added: “If we keep an eye on all of that, I think we’ll do phenomenally well.”
The AM News Show podcast is available through Youtube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts and as such can be viewed or listened to on demand.
Previous guests at the show include Julia Greenhough, Chief Marketing Officer of TrustFord, Callum Wood, Chief Commercial Officer of CitNOW, John O’Hanlon, Managing Director of Waylands Automotive, and Umesh Samani, Chairman of IMDA.