“In reality, it’s going to get tougher this year. It will be tougher because we know a number of the competitors are in a better supply position than they were.
“Our strength is the speed of our new-model introductions. We move very, very fast compared to rivals, and the old adage of this industry has always been that product is the lifeblood of the business.
“But yes, we’re going to have to up our game in terms of fighting in the market against the competitors. We think our advantage again will be through new-product introduction, new design and new technology.”
What are you thinking with regards to the agency retail model? Competitors are moving towards it faster than you.
“Look, the business is doing so well. At the moment, there isn’t any need to do big pivots or big strategic changes with the way we go to market. We’ve got a very good [retailer] network, incredibly well balanced in terms of owner-operators, regional groups and PLCs. They’re doing well, we’re doing well, we’re seeing strong growth. We don’t need to change.”
Presumably you’re watching those that are heading that way nevertheless?
“Honestly, I don’t see any first-mover advantage, so I’m happy to watch and learn. I’m interest to see how they get on and I’m interested to see how the market reacts. We’re happy with what we have and in no hurry to change.”
With all this good news, your dealers are presumably happy? Surveys haven’t always suggested an easy relationship in recent years.
“We work very closely with the franchise board, and having fundamentally changed the business since 2019, it hasn’t always been easy. But the progress we’ve made, and which has been reflected in those surveys, suggests we’re in a good place. We’ve been listening and working very closely with them for the last four years, and that’s really how we got the business into the position it is today.”