DAKSH GUPTA, the CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings plc, says he wouldn’t be surprised if the market continued to grow this year – despite predictions to the contrary.
The group revealed in its annual results this morning that it had seen consistent growth throughout 2016, and it is optimistic about this year after sales have stayed strong for the first three months. However, CEO of Marshall Motors Daksh Gupta added that it is certain the sector will face pressure this summer when inflation increases.
‘It’s difficult to know but I wouldn’t be surprised if the market grew this year. I think the wide exceptions are PCPs now, it’s clearly driving the market and the conditions for the franchise segment look very favourable,’ said Gupta, in an interview with Car Dealer Magazine.
‘I think it’s going to be an interesting quarter, because the SMMT originally predicted a decline for 2017 and that’s not what we’ve seen so far. The market was up 1.8 per cent. What we [Marshall Motor Holdings] have seen so far this year is a good order take, March is building quite nicely and certainly in line with where we want to be.’
Despite a strong start, Marshall Motors is remaining cautious due to the current economic circumstances. Gupta explained: ‘We’re going to be cautious, given the wider economic concerns out there such as Brexit and everything else that is going on, but I think overall we’re reasonably encouraged by our current position.
‘I think it’s really hard to judge what the year is going to hold, let’s not forget it was only a few months ago when everybody was talking about how the market was going to be down eight or nine per cent and a few months later and it’s up two per cent.’
He added: ‘I think there’s been a lot of noise in Q2, particularly around Article 50. One thing is for certain, we will see inflation increase and pressure coming through in the summer months. To an extent while a lot of doomsayers are predicting Article 50 will result in another drop in consumer confidence, I think it’s not like people don’t know it’s coming. They’ve known for a year, so actually why would consumer confidence drop? I’d almost argue it’s already priced in.’
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