Europe’s car makers are mostly on track to meet more stringent 2020-21 EU carbon emission targets, helped by a subsidy-fuelled boom in electric vehicle sales, pooled carbon-dioxide emissions credits and incremental gains in conventional engine technology. European credit ratings agency Scope Ratings says that the chances of any of original equipment manufacturers incurring heavy fines for missing the EU’s carbon-dioxide target of 95g/km for 2020-21 are low, even though not all OEMs will meet the regulatory threshold for average fleet emissions.
UK-EU negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal resume for their seventh round in Brussels today (18 August). David Leggett, automotive analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, stresses the importance of a trade deal to the UK’s automotive industry.
Scope Ratings GmbH is predicting a slump in the order of 15-20 per cent in the European automotive market this year. Sales in Western Europe are among the worst hit, with a predicted 21 per cent fall in light vehicle demand. Having said that, the European credit rating agency says that the region’s car manufacturers have proved surprisingly resilient.
Commenting on SMMT’s new car registration figures for the month of July, Andrew Burn, UK head of automotive at KPMG, said: “With social distancing measures easing and dealerships finally in a position to reopen, it’s great to see pent-up demand released and car registrations picking-up again. However, as the year-to-date figures make painfully clear, total lost sales in 2020 are expected to be £20bn, so in many ways it’s a case of damage limitation. We’re still a long way off pre-Covid-19 levels of sales.
Leading tyre market data analyst Astutus Research has predicted that the European trend for higher performance tyres looks set to continue. The analyst’s report, ‘Future Dynamics of the European PCLT Tire Industry’, published in association with Tyrepress, has been updated for 2019 with an eye to the trends of the next five years. The analyst states: “The movement towards tyres with a higher rim diameter is clear within the European PCLT tyre replacement market. This reflects the trend towards larger tyres on new car models and changes in the composition of the car parc, with a greater share of SUVs. The replacement market reflects the changes in the original equipment segment, albeit with a lag.
For the three national markets of France, Italy and Spain, combined new light vehicle sales fell by 55 per cent on last year to 268,000 in May, which compares with a 75 per cent drop in March and a 93 per cent decline in April. This represents a slightly better scenario than had been anticipated, as Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at GlobalData, explains: “After the seized up and locked down markets of March and April, this is a welcome sign of life in markets that were the first in Europe to be engulfed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) including vans are an often overlooked, but important, component of the European light vehicle market, particularly in the current coronavirus crisis, says GlobalData. Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at the company, says: “As online delivery becomes more important to our everyday lives and as we shelter indoors from the coronavirus, the importance of the LCV typified by light vans such as the Ford Transit is self-evident.”
While UK car manufacturing is beginning to reopen production lines after producing just 197 units in April, Andrew Burn, partner and head of Automotive at KPMG, said the road ahead is far from clear, despite the UK’s car dealerships being given the green light to open. Export markets, uncertainty about demand, and the challenge of cross-border supply chains all provide significant headwinds for the country’s car makers.
Following the news that car dealerships in England can re-open from 1 June, David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData urged caution that car demand will continue to be “well below normal.” The analyst currently forecasts that the UK new car market will be 30 per cent down, year on year.
Professional services firm, KPMG, has appointed Andrew Burn as UK head of Automotive with immediate effect. Burn is a partner within the firm’s restructuring practice and has over 25 years of experience in guiding clients through challenging situations. He has provided company side restructuring advice across the public and private sectors, as well as to privately owned and private equity-backed companies and PLCs. Over the last ten years, he has worked extensively with clients in the automotive sector across the UK and Europe, advising on various areas including supply chain risk management. He succeeds Justin Benson who has left the firm to pursue a new opportunity.
Analysts have warned that the dire effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on car production are not fully reflected in the March figures, released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Andrew Burn, partner and head of automotive at KPMG UK said that while the March data shows that conditions were difficult, April’s numbers will show the full extent of the effects of the UK lockdown on the sector.
The shutdowns and deteriorating demand in the automotive sector have caused GlobalData to revise its North American and European light vehicle (LV) production forecasts for 2020 and beyond. This is a stark illustration of how serious the COVID-19 crisis, which has caused sales to whither and shuttered manufacturing plants, is becoming for the automotive industry, says data and analytics company, GlobalData.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s (Goodyear) sentiments declined in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019 (Quarter ending December 31, 2019) compared to Q3 2019, due to the automotive industry’s challenging environment and distributor concerns, says data and analytics company GlobalData.
UK car production fell -14.2 per cent in 2019, to 1,303,135 units, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with a -6.4 per cent drop in December rounding off a third year of decline. Output was affected by multiple factors, including weakened consumer and business confidence at home, slower demand in key overseas markets, a number of significant model production changes and a shift from diesel across Europe. Factory shutdowns in the spring and autumn, timed to mitigate expected disruption arising from the anticipated departure of the UK from the EU on 29 March and 31 October, also had a marked effect.