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General election could lead to a slump in new and used car sales – Autofinity boss

Sponsored post: Autofinity CEO Andy Whitehair joins Car Dealer Live and discusses how the political landscape is likely to have a knock-on effect on car dealers

Time 8:06 am, March 22, 2024

This year’s general election is set to have a major impact on new and used car sales.

That is the verdict of Autofinity CEO Andy Whitehair, who believes that the political uncertainty of the country will have a knock-on effect on car dealers.

Speaking on Car Dealer Live, the industry veteran said that the impact of the election on the economy is likely to leave buyers feeling uncertain.

However, he backed the motor trade to manage the situation, largely as a result of increased new car supply, following the end of the pandemic.

Speaking to Car Dealer’s James Batchelor, Whitehair said: ‘I’m a techie by trade, but I got into the automotive industry 30 odd years ago and very quickly was educated that particularly the new car market is very sensitive to the economics of the country – and the economics of the country are affected by the politics of the country.

‘A general election, I think, will make some people nervous, that therefore can have an effect on new car sales, and it has a knock on effect on to used car sales.

‘I think I think what’s been interesting is that the the new car impact of Covid seems to be coming to an end. I’m certainly hearing from our customers that new car supply is now in a much better place.

‘That causes its own challenges, because I think manufacturers and dealers were doing very well on limited supply and good pricing.

‘However that’s changed, and now there’s more supply, and you’re starting to see deals appearing that we haven’t seen for a few years.

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‘The Covid impact on the used car market, we will be feeling for some years to come as the lack of new car supply continues to constrain supply in the used side.’

Whitehair has been CEO of Autofinity for the last six years, and the business specialises in working with dealers to create innovative solutions for optimising the sale of new and used cars, parts and accessories.

Autofinity also has a consulting arm that helps dealers understand the technology already in their businesses and works out ways of better using it.

The firm is now beginning to to implement AI into its systems and with artificial intelligence a huge topic at our recent Car Dealer Live conference, Whitehair was also keen to give his thoughts.

‘It’s both scary and exciting,’ he added. ‘As we start to try and implement it into our systems, I think a lot of good can come from it, where suppliers can be building AI into applications to make decision making quicker and to provide guidance to our customer base that they just wouldn’t be able to do previously.

‘Where AI goes generally is a bit scary, but certainly from our perspective, we can see some very useful applications for AI that will provide a lot of benefit to users.’

Click the video at the top of this story for the full interview.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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