APD Advises Dealers to Invest in Staff to Protect Profits


As the automotive industry faces an unprecedented shortage of skilled staff at all levels, APD highlights the need for dealers to improve their systems and processes to help improve job satisfaction resulting in higher staff retention, aiding customer satisfaction and providing a foundation for profitability in 2023.

According to a new report, dealers, in particular, have seen a notable reduction in the levels of adept talent to fulfil key positions in all departments.

Unfortunately, staff shortages are unlikely to go away any time soon and combined with the imminent introduction of Agency models and the reduced aftersales opportunities from EV’s, dealers need to become more agile and adaptive to protect their profits over the next 12 months. 

Mat Hutchin, Commercial Director at APD, explains: “It’s clearly getting more and more challenging for dealers to hire and retain good staff due to salary competition and increasing opportunities providing the prospect of careers elsewhere when qualified people are in short supply.”

“Dealers must focus on filling those roles that are most critical for business growth now, implementing strategies to reduce staff turnover and retain top talent that will give them a competitive advantage in the rapidly changing market conditions.”

APD Business Management Consultancy offers dealers tailored business improvement solutions with access to best-practice processes and advanced technologies to improve efficiency, along with in-depth training and coaching programmes to lead their workforce through transition and behavioural change successfully.

To help dealerships attract and retain new talent to the industry, APD has outlined three strategies that support an agile work environment and career progression.

1. Investment in new technologies

Working with multiple, disparate Automotive Software Systems can make aggregating data to identify opportunities and make business decisions harder and more time consuming. Investing in a single cloud-based solution that can be accessed from anywhere and at any time can save on internal IT hardware, software, infrastructure, staff and maintenance costs. Visualising big data is critical to driving operational performance, enabling dealerships and OEMs to improve profitability.

2. Upskill staff

Upscaling and enhancing knowledge, skills, and capabilities should be a top priority in automotive dealerships. By offering existing employees the opportunity to learn new skills and further their capabilities, they are providing them with a path for career development, which is essential for job satisfaction. When staff satisfaction levels are high, performance increases, contributing to better customer satisfaction and supporting higher staff retention.

3. Good leadership

With the automotive sector facing more significant challenges than ever, dealerships’ general managers must equip themselves with the skills required to lead, manage and succeed today and in the future. With the imminent introduction of Agency models and the financial impact of EV vehicles, dealers’ leadership teams have the task of bringing their staff on board, providing them with the specialist knowledge needed to promote each department’s performance.

Mat added: “Automotive dealers with a strong company culture and effective leadership skills not only are more appealing to a wider pool of talent but less likely to experience employee turnover.”

In response to the challenge, APD is launching a new recruitment solution this Autumn. This service will support motor vehicle dealers in sourcing and hiring good quality candidates with the requisite knowledge, skills and aptitude for automotive retailing. 

APD’s recruitment process will seek to hire successful candidates on the day after taking them through a series of roleplay exercises, competency tests and a structured interview to investigate their competencies for the relevant role. We’ll be disclosing further details on this service over the coming weeks. 

To find out how APD could solve your business problem or provide insight and advice on your current business strategy, call 01793 832660 or visit www.apd-group.com.

For more information, or to arrange an consultation, please contact:

Mat Hutchin
Commercial Director, APD

+44 (0) 1793 832660


Notes to editors:

About APD Business Management Ltd:

APD Business Management Ltd is a provider of business management performance solutions, training and consultancy for the international automotive industry. Operating from its UK headquarters and with a network of partners, APD Business Management Ltd have an established consulting and support network across Europe and many international markets.