Meet the used car dealer who was still selling during the blockade

Stratton Automotive, a used car dealer in the West Midlands, continued trading throughout the blockade and experienced more robust demand than the stock price.

The owner Cavan O’Grady runs a car dealership, which he started with two cars sold from the driveway of his girlfriend, who has about 50 cars in stock with a great team, says, “we are still developing every day.”

The car dealer has adapted the way the company sells cars during the block so that they are always able to meet the needs of consumers and also meet government standards.

“Honestly, it’s probably one of the busiest we’ve been on,” O’Grady explained, in an exclusive interview with Car Dealer magazine.

‘Due to the cars we sell, customers don’t have to enter into a big financial deal and deposit. We are selling cars that are likely to have a maximum of £ 7-10k.

‘Right now we are receiving calls from people where their cars have been turned off, the engines have stopped, or they have a problem with the vehicle, and they need to run the same day; something prepared and safe. “

In our interview, Stratton has seen 19 cars open their doors and is expected to exceed their average monthly sales figures outside the lock-up period.

Although other car dealers have been completely closed, car dealers still feel confident in selling cars online or by telephone during the lock-up period.

‘If someone calls my phone and says that my car has broken down, I need to get to work, I’m an NHS worker, I’m going to be able to provide them with a car and we’re doing that at a reduced rate of 20 per cent for everyone in the NHS,’ he said.

For O’Grady, he doesn’t want to see his business completely shut down.

‘We followed the rules set out by the government but I’m young at the end of the day and it’s a business I’ve invested so much energy and enthusiasm into,’ he said.

‘If a customer comes and picks up a car from us, we have established procedures and follow the two meter distance rules. We have gloves and masks on site for customers, but with many of the deals we are delivering free.

‘We give everything to our customers so that we ca n’t do things that satisfy them. ’

For used car dealers, cars go in and out of inventory so quickly, and they have been buying more cars for those customers who missed the first time they want.

He added: ‘Many of the deals we made this month have been to buy deals because a customer is going to come to us and the cars are selling so fast at the moment, they’re already gone.

‘I think that with everything that happens, the consumer does not have enough time to go out and investigate what they want correctly.

‘With my experience and enthusiasm for this business, they would rather  have someone like me go out and do it for them.

‘People ca n’t go out to do routine things, go to salespeople, drive cars, so we cover every part of the game.

‘We ’ll talk to them over the phone, walk around in the video, and then record all their history. Or they can book a car online and pick it up at a dealer when they really need it. ’

Most of Stratton’s business has been completed over the phone, which provides the perfect conditions for dealing with customers during the lock-up period.

He said: ‘We have had people who come from Ireland or France and who want to buy from us by phone in the past, probably 75 percent of customers do. We are very well configured for all different types, I have made complete sales through Skype and FaceTime. We use as many platforms as we can.

‘We can make a complete roaming video through video calls, and we can also talk through WhatsApp. We will provide them with all the information related to cars, because some of them have been used for 20 years, so they will encounter age-related problems, and it is very important to maintain transparency. “

Social media has always been an essential part of the business, and they have been sharing information about each car to attract as many audiences as possible throughout the lock-in period. As O’Grady said: “We want to make the car as famous and wise as possible on social media. Give it a little publicity and then sell it.’

Auto dealers use this method to put their cars in front of customers who cannot visit them personally but want to view the vehicles they sell.