August Auto Mania
Eason, Kevin, Management Today
There are no holiday brochures in Richard Millington's house. While the rest of the country packs its suitcase and heads for the sun, Millington works day and night, seven days a week through July and August trying to cope with the barmiest sales boom in British industry.
Millington is a car dealer and the first day of August brings the annual change in the registration letter, this year from M to N. That one-letter change might seem insignificant but it is enough to double his showroom's business as customers queue for their fashionable registration plate. Instead of selling an average 200 cars in a month, Reg Vardy Nissan, where Millington is general manager, will sell about 500 in August and take in as many used models in part exchange. There will be no let-up, no breather from the rush, as the car industry tries to cram new car sales worth 4.5 billion[pounds] into one hectic month.
On the scale of British traditions, the August registrations hoo-ha almost rates alongside the Trooping of the Colour and the Cup Final. It demands so much attention. It is unique - although nobody seems sure whether that is commendable or not. No other country in the world is daft enough to ask its biggest manufacturing industry to pack 25% of its annual business into a single month. While the French relax in the August sunshine and the Germans are putting their towels over deck chairs, close to half a million Britons will be at home, clutching a duster waiting to polish up the paintwork on their new cars - complete with new number plates designed to engender the envy of neighbours and colleagues in the company car park.
The cars delivered to their doors on 1 August are exactly the same as those - if any - sold on 31 July except …
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Publication information: Article title: August Auto Mania. Contributors: Eason, Kevin - Author. Magazine title: Management Today. Publication date: August 1995. Page number: 56+. © 2003 Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 1995 Gale Group.
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