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The number of car dealers with forecourts of more than 50 cars has risen by almost 30 percent in the last year.

Latest stats from Auto Trader, show the number increasing from 1,367 to 1,773 in the year to September 2014. Over the same period, the number of dealers with fewer than 21 cars fell from 5,739 to 5,088, a decline of nearly 13 percent.

''We've seen a significant increase in the size of many of our dealer partners' stock profiles in the last year,'' commented Nick King, Research director at Auto Trader. ''It's a trend that we think is driven in part by an uptake in digital marketing and forecourt management tools. Greater use of intelligence and insight to drive their business forwards means dealerships can increase scale, without increasing either physical presence or headcount.'' The number of users of i-Control, Auto Trader's stock management solution, has risen significantly during the last year. 581 dealerships use i-Control today to identify stock that best matches local demand, to price cars competitively and to re-price them to align with changes in the live market. Advanced users of i-Control sell their cars in 28 days compared to 48 days for dealers who don't use i-Control.

''But while the trend to forecourts with more cars is significant, we should be careful not to dismiss the significant proportion of car dealers with smaller portfolios,'' Nick King cautioned. ''In fact, the very intelligence-led tools that have driven growth of many larger dealerships, has also allowed more new entrants to come to market, particularly those retailers who take full advantage of the digital tools and solutions available.''

Auto Trader intelligence-led tools help retailers to manage all the pillars of a car retailing business, from buying and selling to managing and marketing. The company works with around 12,000 retailers and there are currently 443,548 cars listed on the Auto Trader website, more than at any time in the company's history and an increase of over 14% since last year.