New car market to ‘steadily’ recover and could top 1.9m registrations in 2023 – Cox Automotive

Purley Automotive News - August 2023

New car sales are predicted to ‘steadily’ recover in the final two quarters of 2023 and top over 1.9m registrations.

Published in its latest AutoFocus update, the prediction comes from Cox Automotive that has created a baseline forecast for total new car registrations in 2023 with the figure coming to 1,921,436.

Cox said the baseline forecast is ‘most likely’ to materialise and includes a belief that the UK economy will continue to improve and ‘the entry of new OEMs into the UK market will have a limited impact on pricing and volumes for long-standing OEMs’.

The 1,921,436 figure is 20 per cent up on 2022, but nearly 17 per cent down on pre-pandemic levels.

It’s also up on the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) prediction of 1.83m, which was made in May 2023 and is examined every quarter.

Cox said its confidence in the accuracy of the forecast is due to its Q1 and Q2 prediction being 97.8 per cent accurate to the actual figure (1,790,034 versus the eventual 970,951).

It added the latest forecast is supported ‘by recovering vehicle production that will more adequately meet customer demand and prevent significant imbalances’.

Cox Automotive’s insight and strategy director, Philip Nothard, said: ‘The new car market is going through arguably its most significant change in decades, an evolution driven by electrification, new players entering the arena and changes to how new cars are sold.

‘This sector has faced numerous challenges over the past three years and the shoots of recovery that it showed at the beginning of the year will, we think, characterise what remains of these 12 months.’

Nothard added the new car sector’s transformation involves a re-evaluation of how to proceed in both the physical and digital realms, and how to best implement an omnichannel approach.

‘The industry is aiming to reconcile agency strategies, historic franchise agreements and a hybrid approach that blends the two in an increasingly divided and diverse world,’ he said.

‘These complexities unfold amid what can only be described as a critical juncture in the journey toward an electrified, net-zero future.

‘As consumer behaviour shifts, the industry must adapt and align its strategies to meet the demands of an evolving market. With electrification serving as a driving force, the challenges and opportunities in this transition period will shape the future landscape of the automotive industry.

‘Success will hinge on the ability of stakeholders to nimbly traverse these complexities. They must forge new partnerships and embrace sustainable practices that will hopefully lead them into a thriving net-zero era.’

Article courtesy of: published 31st July 2023