A VISIT to OMC Motor Group in Oldham to meet Stewart McQuillan, Sales Director at OMC Motor Group, delved into everything to do with motoring and how car sales have changed since the beginning of the pandemic.
Stewart has worked at OMC for the past 16 years and in the automotive industry for the past 25 years.
When he first started selling cars in 1996, the Spice Girls were No. 1 with Wannabe, and the best-selling car of the year was the Ford Fiesta!
We have seen many changes in all aspects of our lives in the last two years – and buying a car is no exception, Stewart tells us how the pandemic affected OMC.
“Back in March 2020, when we went into the first lockdown, we had to implement many changes across the company.
“With all our showrooms closed to the public, we needed to become much more responsive to online queries. We set up a team of digital first aiders who could answer questions and help with the wide range of sales and service queries.
“As things gradually opened up, we were hit by the global shortage of semiconductors.
Millions of products, including cars, washing machines and smartphones, depend on these computer chips.
“Car production was significantly affected, which resulted in a shortage of new cars that could be bought.
How we sell, and how customers buy new cars, was being turned upside down.
“Customers could no longer enter our showrooms and choose a car from stock. Instead, we now accept orders for new cars, which unfortunately has led to longer delivery times from order to transfer. ”So if someone wants to buy a new car, what should they do?
“The first is to come and talk to us. We can talk through the various options available and then place the order. We just want to make our customers aware that it’s never too early to start a conversation about changing their current car. ”
How do you see electric cars changing the way we drive?
“While all manufacturers, including Ford and Kia, are developing electric battery vehicles, our brand partners are also still investing heavily in hybrid and mild-hybrid technology while we wait for the charging infrastructure to catch up.
“This should assure our customers that despite what they may see in the media, we are still able to offer a wide range of more efficient traditional internal combustion engine vehicles supported by hybrid technologies, giving you plenty of time before you have to take jump and go all electric. “