After ten weeks of lockdown, Yorkshire-based family automotive retailer JCT600 has got off to a flying start, last week enjoying the busiest week in its 74 year history for used vehicle sales with a 21% uplift across its 48 dealerships compared with the same week last year.

It was also a record-breaking week for incoming sales enquiries with volumes into the business increasing by 177% compared with the same week last year. Both telephone and digital enquiries were the highest JCT600 has ever experienced in a single week.

The company also saw web traffic double last week compared with the level experienced during lockdown with people spending more time and viewing more pages than before.

“After two and a half months of dealerships being closed, there’s obviously a huge pent-up demand from customers wanting to change their cars,” explains John Tordoff, CEO of JCT600. “While it’s been a frustrating period for us, our team and our customers, health and safety has, of course, to be the priority and we now have measures in place to make sure our showrooms are as safe as possible.”

JCT600’s dealerships throughout Yorkshire and the North East , Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, have implemented limits to visitor numbers in order to achieve safe social distancing in the showrooms, and moved to an appointment only system to manage this. There are clearly marked flows for customers to follow as well as rigorous cleaning for all high touch areas and hand sanitisation stations for colleagues and customers. In addition, every vehicle is sanitised, sealed and then quarantined prior to a customer interaction, and all customer areas are sanitised after every use.

In addition, JCT600 has also increased its digital processes with customers now able to reserve online, take virtual test drives, use video calls, order and collect, benefit from 100% paperless admin, and use home delivery services.

“We have spent the last ten weeks preparing for the safe re-opening of our dealerships and we’re confident that we can deliver a flexible experience for all of our customers,” continues John. “We’ve also worked hard to keep our team informed throughout the period and ensure that returning colleagues are trained on all standards, processes and systems before they walk through the showroom door.

“We expected to be busy, but the last ten days have been phenomenal. On Monday 8th June, we recorded the highest number of sales enquiries into the business we’ve ever had – quite an achievement for a business as long-established as ours!”