The automotive retail market remains resilient during unprecedented headwinds, with positive signs that an upturn is on the horizon. That’s the view from Cox Automotive Europe as it releases the sixth instalment of its quarterly insight roundup, AutoFocus. AutoFocus brings together the latest views on the market from Cox Automotive as well as Owen Edwards at Grant Thornton, Steve Young from ICDP, and Ian Richardson from 360 Media Group.
AutoFocus reflects on the recent challenges faced by the sector and touches on a variety of issues, including the shortage of available stock, the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) and the ongoing cost of living crisis. While these factors have caused disruption, many have led to new opportunities for automotive businesses and vehicle retailers.
Cox Automotive’s commentary in AutoFocus surmises that the long-term outlook is positive, with the sector showing small signs of recovery. Within the short to medium term, it expects to see small numbers of new and used vehicles enter the market. At the same time, questions surrounding the agency strategy will be answered, and key-value chain factors will the sector continue to adapt to the burgeoning EV market.
Philip Nothard, Insight and Strategy Director at Cox Automotive, commented: “Although we can always find reasons to be negative, we know there are green shoots of recovery appearing across the market.
“However, there remains a number of complex challenges to navigate before we are to see a full recovery. The production of new vehicles, while improving for some manufacturers, is still a long way off from where it needs to be. Some 31 million fewer vehicles were produced globally in 2020 and 2021 compared to the previous two years. In the latest AutoFocus, we discuss the impact this is having on forecasts for new vehicle volumes and where we go from here.
“We must then consider the impact this shortage is having on the used market. Having risen dramatically over the last two years, used vehicle prices are plateauing and, in some cases, declining. Again, our revised used car forecast explores this in greater detail.”

To view the latest issue of AutoFocus, click here.