According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car manufacturing output fell 18.2 per cent in October. 110,179 units left UK factories during the month, 24,490 fewer cars than were made in October 2019, with the impact of coronavirus and fresh lockdowns at home and overseas subduing demand in many key markets.
BKT has set up one of the first-ever contactless E-ICU, COVID-19 treatment facilities to be built in India outside of a hospital. The centre is located at the tyre maker’s Bhuj site, and its doctor and eight healthcare workers are responsible for treating workers and their families affected by coronavirus.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a five-month extension to the furlough scheme is good news for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes described the decision to prolong the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which pays employees 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500, a “welcome lifeline” in a challenging environment of car showroom closures and lockdown. But he stresses that government support won’t suffice to keep the country’s vehicle manufacturers afloat.
Trade fairs can be corona-safe. This is the message from Koelnmesse, organiser of The Tire Cologne, and to prove this it set up a model exhibition bristling with measures for keeping exhibitors and visitors healthy.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has been shortlisted for the ‘COVID Champion Award’ at the 2021 Learning Awards, for the support they have given to garages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This award is a new category for 2021, created to honour and pay tribute to those that have shown great strength and a deep passion for helping others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The threat of coronavirus and our response to this has changed much in the last six months of year, and a study conducted on behalf of Kwik Fit shows that car buying plans are no exception. While the end of the first lockdown saw a rise in car sales due to pent up demand, it seems the pandemic has changed the vehicle purchase intentions of as many as 13.9 million UK drivers.
This autumn could bring with it a new rash of tyre dumping and site abandonment warns Britain’s Tyre Recovery Association (TRA). The association has warned that there are several factors of which the public, our regulators and the tyre trade should be aware. The TRA’s latest comments follow a previous warning that market conditions were likely to have such consequences earlier in the year.
In spite of COVID-19, Prinx Chengshan managed to increase its net profit in the first half of 2020, a feat aided in part by a prompt response to the pandemic. Sales revenue for Prinx Chengshan (Cayman) Holding Limited and its subsidiaries in the six months to 30 June 2020 came to RMB 2,844.0 million (£317.2 million), 1.0 per cent less than in the same period of 2019. Gross profit rose 9.9 per cent year-on-year to RMB 606.3 million (£66.7 million) and net profit increased 1.6 per cent to RMB 265.3 million (£29.2 million).
The UK’s new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market declined by 73.4 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that 4,151 units were registered between 1 March and 30 June 2020. Just 328 buses and coaches joined UK roads during the quarter.
Virtually every day reveals some new effect of COVID-19 on everyday life and on the automotive and associated industries. The latest gloomy news comes from the Department for Education, which has focussed the spotlight on the impact of the pandemic on apprentice recruitment. And the automotive sector appears to be one of the hardest hit. Across all sectors, apprenticeship starts in June 2020 fell by 57 per cent, compared to the same time period in 2019.
The second quarter of 2020 provided the worst quarterly sales results in recorded memory, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) states. Publishing its members’ replacement tyre sales for the Covid-19 pandemic stricken quarter, ETRMA secretary general Fazilet Cinaralp said: “The tyre sector’s full recovery is still far away. For the moment, we can only hope for the market to stabilise in the second half of the year. Our outlook for 2020 remains bleak with a double-digit drop in sales expected across all segments.”
France recently announced plans to inject more than €8bn into its automotive sector, a measure that Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at GlobalData, believes should be considered across Western Europe. The analyst has forecast that the region will “bear the brunt of a global industry that faces a near 20 per cent fall in volume in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.” While it forecasts global industry to lose “nearly 16 million sales in 2020 compared with 2019, West Europe alone will account for more than a quarter of the decline.”
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) is pleased that car showrooms can reopen from today (1st June) in England if they meet the COVID-19 guidelines to protect staff and customers. Franchised dealers have been working hard to prepare their premises in line with the Government and industry guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and customers when reopening.
Autogem has created a triple-layer, reusable anti-bacterial facemask. The new product has been added to the TPMS and workshop consumables supplier in response to the needs of customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The ‘gemCare’ masks, which are non-medical grade and will therefore not affect the supply chain to the NHS, are designed by medical professionals. Autogem added that the masks are intended to complement other protective measures, such as washing hands and maintaining social distancing.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is launching a Covid-19 compliance certification scheme for garages wishing to demonstrate to their customers that the environment is safe. The scheme is based on the Government’s safe working guidelines to prevent coronavirus transmission and will underpin the IGA’s case to overturn the six-month MOT extension by providing evidence that garages are safe places for consumers to visit.