Pete Withers AutoEngage PodcastPete Withers AutoEngage Podcast


Sytner profit rise and Vauxhall eyes up Fiesta owners with Pete Withers from AutoEngage

  • Pete Withers from AutoEngage joins the Car Dealer Podcast
  • He talks about the pressure dealers will face with the ZEV mandate
  • Pressure on manufacturers will likely feed down to showrooms
  • Listen now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more

Time 2:57 pm, October 16, 2023

This week on the Car Dealer Podcast there was plenty to talk about, with hosts Jon Reay and James Baggott picking out topics from Carwow’s loss to Sytner’s bumper profit and even covering a bit of brain scanning.

Jon and James were joined by Pete Withers from Auto Engage, who would be judging their picks and deciding who had the best stories of the week.

Electric car regulation rose its head again on the show – not only because of James’ ongoing EV charger issues – but because Labour had announced they would be reinstating the 2030 deadline.

Talking about the impact of the ZEV mandate, Withers commented: ‘The fines that will be imposed, I think I read somewhere that they’re like £15,000 for every unit that they missed their target by?

‘Well, it’s not really the manufacturer that sells vehicles, is it? It’s the dealers, so that’s going to be forced down onto the dealers.’

He added: ‘The problem potentially, you’ve got with the push back to 2035 is that the private person on the street is going to be thinking, well, I’ve got another five years now before I’ve really got to think about it. Let’s be honest, human behaviour is, you know, we’ll put this off till tomorrow.

‘All I can see is that the dates are going to get the pressure put on them because from the May the manufacturers with regards to the fines that could potentially be imposed, but they’re gonna have a hard job then selling it to the people that they need to sell the vehicles to because in their mindset, they’ve got until 2035 to deal with it.’

You can listen to the podcast in full by clicking play on the Spotify player above, or find out more about the stories mentioned by clicking the links below.

‘There’s gonna be a very strange situation in 2030,’ said Jon, ‘where assuming Labour don’t get in or don’t put this through, when a customer walks into a Mercedes dealer, say wanting a petrol E-Class, the dealer has got to convince them that actually they don’t want to a petrol E-Class.’

However, James said he believe next year will be the toughest period, adding: ‘Next year is going to be where the real trouble is going to happen, because 20 per cent of those sales they’re going to have next year have got to be EVs at a time just a few months after the government has said, ‘don’t worry, we’re delaying this for another, another five years’.

‘But at the same time, those manufacturers and dealers have got to hit those 20 per cent targets.

‘We know EV demand in the new car market, especially private retail customers, has dropped off a cliff. So it’s gonna be very, very hard next year, to persuade those customers to buy EVs at a time when they think they’ve just bought themselves another another five years.’

Find out more about the stories mentioned this week here:

The Car Dealer Podcast is now available to stream on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more.

Each week on the podcast, two members of the Car Dealer team choose their favourite stories of the week and an industry guest picks who was best.

If you’d like to be our guest judge, you can email [email protected].

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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