Ian Plummer offers his view on May's new car performance
“One of the effects of Brexit on the economy has been a hit on the exchange rate. As sterling falls, car brands don’t see the UK as such a profitable let alone stable market. As such, the UK is running an ever greater risk of not getting its share of the most desirable cars coming off international production lines; too many of the most sought after vehicles will be going elsewhere in Europe. That situation could last as long as demand holds firm in the other key European markets; and today they’re generally looking positive," explains Ian Plummer, Commercial Director at Auto Trader.
“Consumers too, are cautious because of Brexit and the added uncertainty around fuel type. We’re inundated with rhetoric as well as regulation which almost punishes drivers of certain diesels, with the introduction of ULEZ and paying more for parking, but there aren’t enough positive incentives to adopt newer technologies, leaving consumers confused and hesitant to invest in new cars. If we can’t encourage people to actively accelerate their choice of next car, and a cleaner car, we’ll neither be helping to improve the emissions output of the overall UK car fleet, nor helping to sustain the health of the UK car market.
“In the current uncertain climate and with contracting margins, retailers and brands are struggling to hold prices and to incentivise sales; they simply don’t have enough money to encourage consumers who already aren’t confident leaving the industry in limbo. We need to take away the uncertainty, make sure that there is a positive case for change and give consumers more carrots than sticks.”