Editor's note

Industry shows resilience in face of unprecedented headwinds

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Philip Nothard, Insight and Strategy Director,
Cox Automotive.

Welcome to issue 6 of AutoFocus.

Welcome to issue six of AutoFocus – Cox Automotive’s quarterly insight magazine covering the key market trends you should know about.

In a period where the only certainty is uncertainty, and a market full of known unknowns, you could write a book about the headwinds the industry has faced just this year alone.

But whether it’s navigating the shortage of vehicles, the rise of EVs, or more recently, the cost-of-living crisis, the automotive industry has repeatedly proven its resilience. In fact, some of these challenges have led to new opportunities for automotive businesses, and particularly for vehicle retailers, leading to increased profitability.

Although we can always find reasons to be negative, we know there are green shoots of recovery; more new and used vehicles will return to the market, the unknowns surrounding the agency strategy will become clearer, and we will adapt and evolve to the electrification of our transport network. However the industry looks in the future, one thing for sure is that it won’t be the same industry we left behind before the pandemic.

"Although we can always find reasons to be negative, we know there are green shoots of recovery appearing."

Philip Nothard, Insight and Strategy Director, Cox Automotive

Until then, there remains very real and complex challenges to navigate. The production of new vehicles, while improving for some manufacturers, is still a long way off from where it needs to be. As a result, the industry is 31 million vehicles short of where it would usually be over the last two years. We’ve discussed some of the ongoing reasons why this is happening and the impact this is having on forecasts in our new vehicle market update.

Then you have the impact this shortage is having on the used market. Used vehicle prices, which have risen dramatically over the last two years, are now plateauing and, in some cases, declining. For more on that and our revised used car forecasts, read our used vehicle market update.

Finally, we’re once again pleased to include the latest insight and commentary from outside Cox Automotive in this issue, this time from Owen Edwards at Grant Thornton, Steve Young from the ICDP, and Ian Richardson from 360 Media Group.

As ever with AutoFocus, whether it’s the latest economic factors impacting the automotive market, the latest on supply shortages, changing retail dynamics, or the latest thinking on EVs, we’ve tried our best to summarise the key information you need to know in an efficient and engaging way.

And for a deeper look at some of the topics covered in this issue, keep an eye out for the new Insight Report 2022, launching once again in collaboration with Grant Thornton in a few months’ time.

I hope you find this edition of AutoFocus insightful and that it provides context to the challenges you are facing right now. If there is anything you want to learn more about or see in future issues, then please do not hesitate to contact me, but for now, enjoy.


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