Motor Industry Update 11 November 2020

Volvo XC40 Volvo XC40 Recharge – Photo credit: Volvo Cars

UK auto industry now better prepared for lockdowns

Data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders last week showed that the UK new car market was down by 1.6% in October. GlobalData’s David Leggett commented on the news just ahead of the new lockdown by saying:

“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.”

SMMT comment on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive:

“With new lockdown measures now requiring English car showrooms to close for a month and the automotive industry facing an extremely challenging winter, the CJRS is a welcome lifeline. Importantly, we need demand to be maintained from showroom traffic to sustain our critical manufacturing base, so this closure instruction was very disappointing. We need every manufacturer and every retailer to hold on to skilled, viable jobs so, given car showrooms are some of the most Covid-safe retail environments possible, we hope that they will be able to open quickly, and remain open, avoiding a long term dependency on furlough.”

Volvo reports 7.1 per cent global sales growth in October

October proved to be a positive month for Volvo Cars as their global sales continued to grow with volumes up 7.1 per cent compared with the same period last year, helped by double-digit sales increases in China and the US. Volvo sold 65,290 cars during the month with strong growth and demand for their award-winning SUV range.

Volvo’s share of Recharge models, with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, more than doubled in the first 10 months of the year compared with the same period last year, and today contributes up 16 per cent of the company’s global sales. The share was 27 per cent in Europe.

Overall, Volvo sold 516,418 cars to date this year, which is a decrease of 9.2 per cent compared with last year.

The XC40 compact SUV was the top-selling model for Volvo in October, followed by the XC60 mid-size SUV and the XC90 large SUV. In total, SUVs accounted for 73.3 per cent of the company’s sales, an increase of 65.3 per cent on last October.