SECOND-hand car dealerships won’t exist in five to 10 years, according to Barnard Street Car Sales manager Ron Symons.
The car dealership is being sold after 30 years in business, with the company consolidating to a smaller premises at Bendigo Uptown Auto Sales.
Mr Symons said about five second-hand car dealerships had closed in the last six months.
“Times are tough; we’re not selling anywhere near the numbers we used to sell,” he said.
“You’re competing against the internet and auctions and people aren’t buying new cars and there’s not a lot of second-hand cars in the system as a result.
“The last 12 months were a lot worse than the 12 months before that, probably by 20 to 25 per cent.”
Mr Symons said he stocked about 130 cars five years ago, which had dropped to 90 and would reduce to about 60 in six months.
“It’s certainly going to be sad to move,” he said.
“But there’s not much you can do about it, life goes on. There are five of us working here and we’ve kept the same staffing levels.”
Les Dixon of Les Dixon Autos said the last 18 months had been the quietest period of his 13 years in the industry.
“I can’t see anyone opening a car yard in Bendigo unless things change,” he said.
“It’s too much outlay for the return. You need to have $400,000 worth of stock and then service it.”
But used car dealer Brendan Drechsler said it wasn’t all bad news.
“It’s tough, the economy’s tough, but you’ve got to adjust accordingly,” he said.
“You’ve got to work harder, smarter and back it up with service and warranties.”