- New vehicle forecast predicts 2,020,050 new vehicle registrations in 2024 (6.1% YoY growth) and 7,350,205 for the used sector
- Less than 1% difference between SMMT’s 2023 new vehicle registration figures and Cox Automotive’s forecast
- 2024 will be characterised by a striving for stability amid uncertainty, economic headwinds and political change
Cox Automotive has doubled down on its industry forecasts for 2024, which predict 12 months of stabilisation for new and used markets against a backdrop of uncertainty and change.
It is forecasting 2,020,050 new vehicle registrations – an increase of 6.1% year-on-year - and 7,350,205 used car sales for the full year.
The leading automotive services provider reiterated its bold projections after just-published numbers from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that Cox Automotive’s predictions for 2023 were near perfect.
The SMMT 2023 overview shows that overall, new car registrations for all fuel types stood at 1,903,054. Cox Automotive’s forecasts for the same period were 1,921,436 - a less than 1% discrepancy.
Insight Director Philip Nothard said: “The SMMT’s latest figures show that 2023 played out almost exactly as we predicted at the start of the year. With the actuals now published, we’ve re-reviewed our forecasts for 2024 and remain confident they paint an accurate picture of what we can expect over the next 12 months. In summary, we anticipate a year of comparative stabilisation and modest growth in the continued evolution of how cars are bought, sold, owned, and used.
“The consistent accuracy of quarterly and annual forecasts is something we are very proud of and is a testament to our deep understanding of the wholesale and retail automotive markets and Cox Automotive’s unshakeable commitment to providing valuable insights to our customers.”
According to Philip, Cox Automotive’s baseline forecast points towards growth but is nevertheless a decline compared to the 2000-2019 average.
“The health of the sector is improving, but the list of external forces shaping macro activity in automotive will get longer this year,” he added. “Among these factors is the ZEV mandate, which prescribes the proportion of total annual sales that must be zero-emission vehicles. The agency sales model remains an unknown and we do not yet know the full implications of its expected, widespread introduction.
“There’s also the fact that production is beginning to exceed demand for the first time since the pandemic. However, we’re likely to see a split between manufacturers seeking profitability at the cost of volume and market share and those returning to a ‘push’ market at the cost of profit for volume and market dominance.
“On top of that, there is the much talked about but not-yet-seen price parity between ICE and EV vehicles, the continued emergence of new entrants in the EV market, such as BYD, now the biggest car manufacturer in the world. These new players will undoubtedly bring more choice and a greater variety of price points.
“The expected 2024 General Election may see a change of government as well as a raft of new legislative measures that will have implications for automotive.
“Amid all these factors, businesses must act decisively and deploy strategies based on proper data-driven insight, the kind that Cox Automotive continues to provide.”
Cox Automotive’s full new and used car forecasts for 2024 can be found here.