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New and used sales will grow in 2024 despite economic pressure growing – Cox Automotive

  • Cox Automotive has reiterated its confident outlook for 2024
  • It predicts new car registrations to rise to 2.02m and used car sales to top 7.4m
  • Number of macroeconomic factors affecting car industry ‘growing’

Time 11:06 am, January 9, 2024

Cox Automotive has repeated its predicted stable outlook for the new and used car markets in 2024, despite uncertainty over no-haggle agency sales, the ZEV mandate and other economic headwinds.

The company expects new car registrations to lift by 6.1% to 2,020,050 over the course of the year, while used car sales will reach 7,350,205.

Cox Automotive says it’s confident of its projections for 2024 after full-year data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) last week showed Cox’s 2023 expectations were just 1% adrift.

Moreover, the firm believes 2024 will see ‘modest growth’ despite the number of external macroeconomic factors affecting the automotive industry growing.

Insight director Philip Nothard said: ‘The SMMT’s latest figures show that 2023 played out almost exactly as we predicted at the start of the year.

‘With the actuals now published, we’ve re-reviewed our forecasts for 2024 and remain confident they paint an accurate picture of what we can expect over the next 12 months.

‘In summary, we anticipate a year of comparative stabilisation and modest growth in the continued evolution of how cars are bought, sold, owned, and used.’

Cox Automotive’s baseline forecast points towards growth but is nevertheless a decline compared to the 2000-2019 average.

‘The health of the sector is improving, but the list of external forces shaping macro activity in automotive will get longer this year,’ Nothard added.

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‘Among these factors is the ZEV mandate, which prescribes the proportion of total annual sales that must be zero-emission vehicles.

‘The agency sales model remains an unknown and we do not yet know the full implications of its expected, widespread introduction.

‘There’s also the fact that production is beginning to exceed demand for the first time since the pandemic.

‘However, we’re likely to see a split between manufacturers seeking profitability at the cost of volume and market share and those returning to a “push” market at the cost of profit for volume and market dominance.

‘On top of that, there is the much talked about but not-yet-seen price parity between ICE and EV vehicles, the continued emergence of new entrants in the EV market, such as BYD, now the biggest car manufacturer in the world.

‘These new players will undoubtedly bring more choice and a greater variety of price points.

‘The expected 2024 General Election may see a change of government as well as a raft of new legislative measures that will have implications for automotive.

‘Amid all these factors, businesses must act decisively and deploy strategies based on proper data-driven insight, the kind that Cox Automotive continues to provide.’

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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