RVs in focus as online discounts remain high in Germany
Online discounts in the German car market have fallen slightly in the first nine months of 2016 but remain at a high level according to the latest discount study
by the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR). On average, online sales are benefitting from an 18.5% discount on list prices, compared to 19.1% in the same period last year. In comparison, the average discount given away by manufacturers' special offers on well-equipped cars is just 13%. Online sales continue to gain ground, with an Arthur D Little study
estimating that the share of online car sales would rise from 3% at the time of publication in 2012 to 6% by 2020. Aside from the generous discounts themselves, consumers are attracted to online purchasing by pricing transparency which removes the negotiation element of transactions often required in dealerships. In Germany, the share of online car sales is high for smaller cars as consumers are more cautious about spending large amounts of money online and also because there are fewer options to choose from, which makes the ordering process less complex. As the proportion of cars sold through online discounting channels increases, it is likely to lead to lower residual values for nearly new cars as their prices will have to reduce to remain competitive compared to online new car offers.