Positive signs of vehicle supply, steadily improving inflation, and the retail performance of electric vehicles; does this mean the UK automotive sector could see an uptick in fortunes over the next twelve months? That’s the optimistic message from Cox Automotive as it releases the latest instalment of its digital automotive insight update AutoFocus.
Having reviewed the latest data and sentiment gathered from across the automotive sector, Philip Nothard, Insight and Strategy Director at Cox Automotive, concludes we should be painting a more positive picture for the year ahead than many may think possible.
“The end of 2022 saw an improvement in new vehicle supply,” he states. “Early signs indicate this will continue to be the case, with supply outstripping many previous forecasts.
“It’s a similar picture for the economy. While current conditions are far from ideal, inflation levels are forecast to improve throughout the year, remaining ahead of Bank of England targets. This will strengthen consumer and business confidence, giving both the new and used car markets a much-needed boost. So we could be heading out of the doldrums at long last.”
Cox Automotive’s AutoFocus is published quarterly and draws on the company’s global experience to provide relevant and timely data and insights. The latest issue reveals the company’s new and used market forecasts for the year ahead, featuring an in depth analysis of Q1 and Q2. In addition, views are shared by many of the automotive industry’s leading voices, including Mike Allen from financial services group Zeus Capital, Owen Edwards from accounting firm Grant Thornton and Steve Young from research organisation ICDP. Also providing insight is Tom Callow at renewable energy specialist myenergi, ahead of what Nothard believes could be a defining year for electric vehicles.
Nothard concludes: “The electrification of our vehicle parc is continuing at pace, but are we ready? Last year saw the largest percentage of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold to date and the biggest year-on-year growth in registrations.
“There’s no doubt consumer behaviours are shifting, and manufacturer and fleet operator strategies are following suit. This has led to many popular models being no longer available and leaving this European market segment ripe for new Chinese brands to gain a footing. So there’s a lot to be optimistic and excited about.”