Motor trade warned to brace itself for a challenging year as buoyant market starts to weaken

  • Political, social and economic factors starting to affect automotive sector
  • Declining consumer and business confidence are going to cause further pressures
  • That’s the view of Cox Automotive in new magazine

Time 1:19 pm, April 12, 2022

The motor trade is being warned to brace itself for a ‘challenging year’ as political, social and economic disruption starts to ‘weaken’ the automotive sector.

That’s the word from Cox Automotive in its quarterly AutoFocus magazine.

The company says the previously buoyant wholesale market is now starting to weaken, and further headwinds such as the cost of living crisis, the conflict in Ukraine, new car order bank backlogs and declining consumer and business confidence are going to cause further pressures.

It added that it expects vehicle volumes will not return to pre-pandemic levels and has downgraded its predictions.

Philip Nothard, insight and strategy director at Cox Automotive, said: ‘When we previously released AutoFocus in Q1, the market was in a very different place.

‘While challenges did exist, buyer confidence was still high, and vehicle values continued to increase.

‘I spoke about how we should all get used to VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), and it’s clear that the automotive industry still faces a bumpy road ahead.

‘However, continual headwinds are testing the resilience of the entire global automotive sector.’

Nothard continued: ‘We must recognise that the sector is still in a period of change, but change brings opportunities and well as challenges.

‘We can’t hide the fact that many businesses will need to tighten their belts over the next few months, but the sector has already proven that it can overcome struggles stronger than before.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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