‘We’ve had three big elections recently and we’re sick of them’
I’m writing the copy for this column on a Saturday afternoon way before the (habitually ignored) deadline imposed by editor Martyn. That’s because the motor trade is unnervingly quiet across the board. Elections always kill the new and used car trade stone-dead and this last one was no exception.
The problem is that we’ve just had three big elections with shock outcomes in as many years and we’re all sick to the back teeth of it. It seems like we’ve not had a good sales summer in living memory.
I’ve just returned from a tour of six franchised dealers and drove straight past another two as I could see there was literally no business going on at all.
All of them were deathly quiet. Receptionists had been sent home and the normally over-stressed partsmen were cleaning their own cars in the abandoned valeting bays. Meanwhile, mechanics were nipping out to the shops for the team sandwiches and drinks and the fast-fit bays were being used for an impromptu kick-about.
Those doing Ramadan are unduly suffering, too, instead of being kept busy. Out of sheer boredom, people are eating or talking about what they’re eating that night and it’s driving them wild.
Was the move to two registrations a year such a good move? And if it was, then are April and September the best months to be changing plates? I had my doubts when those dual plate changes were announced and those doubts are as strong as ever.
Maybe election days should coincide with plate-change days?