With car showrooms opening today (12 April), The UK automotive retail sector signalled its readiness to get showrooms up and running with the publication of new, updated sector-specific guidance by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to ensure all premises are safe spaces for employees, customers and other visitors.
The car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for the month of March shows that the UK new car market recorded its first ‘growth’ since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year. However, the month represents the anniversary of the first lockdown in March 2020, when the pandemic brought Britain to a standstill and registrations fell by -44.4 per cent.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, carries out the Dealer Attitude Survey twice a year. The survey has taken place continuously since 1989. With a total of 2,585 responses from 32 participating dealer networks, the survey received a response rate of 59.5 per cent. “It is positive that despite the significant disruption faced by our industry over the past twelve months, dealers are, on average, fairly satisfied with the relationship with their respective manufacturers”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, commenting on the results of the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey winter 2020/2021 published on Monday 15 March 2021.
Commenting on the government’s decision to cut the Plug-in Grant for electric vehicles, Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, said: “The decision to cut the Plug-in Car Grant and Van & Truck Grant is extremely disappointing as it risks undermining the progress the UK has been making towards a zero-emission market in line with the 2030/2035 deadline set by the Government.
The UK new car market declined by -35.5 per cent in February as 28,282 fewer units were registered during a traditionally weak month for new vehicle uptake, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The industry recorded its lowest February uptake since 1959, with 51,312 new cars registered.
Despite the gloomy January figures, there are signs of optimism in the UK car industry. Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, said that the steep fall in sales was expected as a result of the January lockdown, but she went on: “Retailers are optimistic about the year ahead, provided that dealerships will be allowed to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.”
“Given the challenges facing businesses and the increasing importance of having a robust digital strategy in place, we are delighted to launch NFDA Engage, a new programme aimed at supporting dealers’ communication activities”, said Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK.
NFDA chief executive Sue Robinson met with Rachel Maclean MP, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for Transport, on 28 January to discuss the Government’s ambition to end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 and outline the key role dealers play on the Road to Zero.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations ended 2020 down -20.0 per cent, with the van market rounding off the year in decline following three months of growth. 292,657 vehicles were registered in 2020, as the impact of Covid and uncertainty over the future relationship with the EU brought down demand toward the end of the year, with registrations in the final month of the year dropping -1.0 per cent, albeit with volumes consistent with previous Decembers.
Just before Christmas, the UK Government and the EU announced that they had thrashed out a no-tariff trade deal. Negotiations went down to the wire, but, a mere four and a half years after the UK voting to leave the EU, agreement was approved by both sides.
The reactions to November’s UK car registration figures, which fell by 27.4 per cent year-on-year according to the SMMT, varied in tone; some were optimistic, others were worried about whether or not the industry could cope with the brought-forward target of 2030 for phasing out of sales of new petrol and diesel cars. And of course there was the uncertainty of whether a Trade Deal could be negotiated with the EU and of the effects of Brexit on the automotive industry, not to mention the effect on the automotive business of the pandemic.
Over the past weeks, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has written to HMRC and a number of MPs to highlight that under post-Brexit EU VAT rules, the sale price of a significant proportion of used vehicles in Northern Ireland (NI) will be subject to a 20 per cent increase for stock purchased in Great Britain (GB). NFDA has urged HMRC to resolve the issue before the end of the year to avoid a major impact on NI and GB vehicle dealers as well as consumers.
Drive My Career is the employment initiative launched by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) in 2018. Drive My Career polls its target audience regularly to investigate their perception of the automotive sector and, more recently, the impact that Covid-19 has had on employment.
The European Commission has this week launched the public consultation on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 461/2010). The purpose of the consultation is to assess whether and to what extent the objectives of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER) are fulfilled. Motor vehicle distribution and after-sales agreements are currently subject to Commission Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 (MVBER).
The Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) accreditation scheme reopens today (12 October 2020). EVA recognises dealers’ expertise in the electric vehicle sector and promotes industry standards for the benefit of the consumer. The scheme encourages dealerships to further develop their ability in selling and servicing electric vehicles, as the country continues to move towards a zero-emission future.