I have given my outlook a bold title consciously accepting that there will be plenty of challenges ahead. I’m firmly of the belief that embracing change positively is the critical factor that can help businesses to progress and thrive and this is especially true against a challenging backdrop. In over twenty-one years at the helm of what today is MotoNovo Finance, the value of a positive and bold approach to change has always seen our business come out of difficult times stronger.

As we look to 2021, I wanted to share my thoughts on Recovery & Reinvention.

The critical nature of the team

The events of 2020 have reinforced my belief in the critical nature of our team to our success. As we look ahead, the continuing reliance, engagement, energy and agility of the teams in every organisation have never been more important, given the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Business leaders, who are reliant on their teams, have a crucial role in inspiring belief in a vision for the future (that will inevitably involve a period of accelerated change) and demonstrate a genuine interest in the well-being of the people that they are privileged to lead. 

Always be 'on parade'

Success in trying times is not blind luck; it is a combination of a positive ‘can do’ approach, a business culture that commits to this ethos and above all, a great team. As a small aside, it is not an approach modelled for tough times; sustained success is about being ‘on parade’ all of the time.

To illustrate this ‘always on parade’ principle in context, in 2018, we started working on a new risk-based pricing model. A great deal of work, investment and support from pilot dealers saw the result, our new MotoRate pricing model launched just as the initial lockdown period ended.

The launch of MotoRate was perfectly timed to help dealers adapt to the changes and ban in discretionary commission required by January 28th. It also proved to be ideal in helping consumers who were facing a tighter personal loan market that saw a 59% reduction in personal loans during lockdown (April to June 2020) compared to the first three months of 2020. Dealers saw their finance activity grow and so did we – my thanks to all our dealers.

It is about the inches

Making small gains continuously is crucial to success. While Recovery is very much about the here and now, Reinvention should be viewed as a constant theme. Avoiding unnecessary costs is one way to improve, but seeking out improvements and value adding is just as important; as an example, increasing digital activity and engagement offers a highly cost effective opportunity.


Stop looking for suppliers, start looking for collaborators who can add value to your business in a long-term arrangement with their skills and capabilities. It is a situation where the value a good collaborator can offer, exceeds price.


Building on the previous point, it is important to challenge cost v value wherever you can.

2021 market outlook


The SMMT is forecasting a 20% increase in new car registration and around two-thirds of dealers expect used car sales in increase in 2021 with around a third expecting used car values to rise. All of these look realistic, with a positive used car outlook representing a trend we have seen consistently in more challenging market conditions and new cars set to show recovery from a difficult 2020. 


The most immediate development will be in financial services. By January 28th all dealers must have changed their approach to finance to meet the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations.

Please do not take this lightly, the changes are significant and represent a significant opportunity for many dealers to enhance their business. With MotoRate, we have seen volumes from dealers increase significantly; we expect this trend to continue in 2021.

The market background

I’m a positive person but also a pragmatist. The importance of the operating environment is critical. So, a few observations:

I hope that in some small way these thoughts provide some ideas, but if there is one single item I recommend you focus upon, it came near the start of this review; sustained success is about being ‘on parade’ all of the time. My very best wishes for 2021.

Mark Standish, CEO

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