Positive outlook for 2023, but significant challenges remain
Philip Nothard, Insight and Strategy Director,
Welcome to issue eight of AutoFocus.
Welcome to issue eight of AutoFocus, Cox Automotive’s quarterly insight update.
As with any new year, our minds are drawn to the days and months ahead, and we find ourselves asking the same questions: What will 2023 have in store for the automotive industry? Will economic conditions improve? When will more new supply enter the market?
While those questions are more of an indication of the particular challenges we face today, as we all know, every new year brings a renewed sense of optimism.
Fortunately, this time round, there is cause for optimism. As set out in this issue of AutoFocus, the end of 2022 saw an improvement in new vehicle supply and the early signs are that this will only improve throughout the coming year, outstripping many forecasts. And while economic conditions are far from good, inflation levels are forecast to improve throughout the year, albeit still ahead of Bank of England targets. Could this mean an improvement in consumer and business confidence? Only time will tell.
The electrification of our vehicle parc also continues at pace. Last year saw the largest percentage of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold to date in the UK, and the biggest year-on-year growth in registrations. Consumer behaviours are shifting, and manufacturer and fleet operator strategies are following suit. There have been casualties along the way, particularly in the small hatchback segment where once popular models are being discontinued, most notably the Ford Fiesta. Where established manufacturers leave, we’re seeing new Chinese brands begin to fill their space and find a footing in the European market.
There’s lots to consider. But, as ever with AutoFocus, we aim to provide you with only the most important data, insight and opinion relating to the topics that impact you most.
"Fortunately, this time round, there is cause for optimism. As set out in this issue of AutoFocus, the end of 2022 saw an improvement in new vehicle supply and the early signs are that this will only improve throughout the coming year, outstripping many forecasts."
Philip Nothard, Insight and Strategy Director, Cox Automotive
In this issue, we reveal our revised new and used car forecasts for the year ahead, featuring in depth analysis of Q1 and Q2. We also provide an overview of the big things happening in the market to give context to our forecasts.
We’re also delighted to include guest contributions from many leading voices in our industry: Mike Allen (Zeus Capital), Owen Edwards (Grant Thornton), Tom Callow (myenergi), and Steve Young (ICDP).
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.