Auto industry in UK now better prepared for lockdowns, says GlobalData

Following the news that the UK new car market was down by 1.6% in October, according to data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT);

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view: 

“The latest market data is much as expected given Covid-induced population restrictions in force across the nation last month – most notably in Wales.

“Car retailers and manufacturers in Britain will be viewing immediate prospects with some trepidation given a new four-week lockdown starting today in England.

“However, the auto industry, like many others, is now better prepared for lockdown restrictions than it was in the spring. Covid-secure factories can continue to operate if there are sufficient orders coming in from major markets around the world. At around 80% of all car production, exports are what drive UK car manufacturing. We are not facing the same sudden and generalized global loss of business that occurred earlier this year.

“Moreover, while dealers in England will be shut for in-person browsing through November, they are increasingly able to offer enhanced online and digital services as well as home deliveries and click-and-collect.

“Obviously, there are ongoing uncertainties and concerns over the public health crisis and its wider economic impacts, but the impact of lockdown number two – hopefully limited to four weeks duration – in England will not be as severe as the first lockdown.”

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