2017 has been a tumultuous year for the automotive industry, and the country as a whole, with Brexit having a huge impact on every aspect of the UK economy. Although the referendum was in June 2016, the implications continue to reverberate as the negotiations develop, and now those conversations are turning to trade we’re likely to see further disruption throughout 2018.
Download our free eBook for further information on Brexit’s impact on the auto industry.
Declining car sales and manufacturing
The new car market has continued its decline throughout the year, showing a 5% drop in the eleven months up to December 2017, with just under 2.4 million new cars hitting British roads this year, according to the SMMT. While Brexit has been partly blamed for negatively impacting consumer confidence, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes has also cited the Government’s “ongoing anti-diesel messages”.
Car manufacturing has seen a more modest drop of just 1.6% for the year-to-date. In the latest figures from the SMMT, exports have shown a fall of just 0.1% in 2017 so far. Domestic demand has dropped 6.8% this year, however, pulling the overall manufacturing figures further into the red.
One positive to take from these figures is the growing demand for Alternatively Fueled Vehicles, which is only likely to continue in the years to come, as governments and manufacturers declare their strategies to move the industry towards less fossil-fuel reliant technology. Read more about AFVs in our September blog: Alternatively fueled future with 2040 diesel and petrol ban.
We have followed the new car registrations and manufacturing figures closely throughout 2017, regularly posting blogs on the latest stats, and will continue to do so in 2018.
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Marketing changes for retailers and manufacturers
By now, you’ll almost certainly of heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), especially if you follow the blog. The GDPR regularly appears across the internet, news outlets and social media, especially over the past year, as the country prepares for the legislation being brought into force on 25th May 2018. It is the most important change to data privacy regulation in 20 years and will impact every business that collects, stores and processes customer data for any purpose – including car retailers and manufacturers.
We covered the GDPR extensively throughout 2017, with our free eBook – GDPR: The new data protection law – providing an overview on the automotive industry impact. We also posted several blogs on the subject, with a particular highlight being an in-depth interview with Car Care Plan’s Head of Risk and Compliance, Gavin Tinch. Gavin provided expert insight into the wider implications of GDPR and how the industry should prepare.
As the deadline approaches for the GDPR becoming law, we will post further blogs on the subject, what the industry is doing to ensure compliance and examples of best practice. Keep visiting the blog to stay up-to-date or sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.
Other highlights from the Car Care Plan blog
As the second anniversary passes for the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) changes to the way GAP insurance can be promoted and sold, we looked closely at the impact on the financial aftercare market in 2017. Download our eBook: FCA Regulation Changes – have they affected GAP sales to learn more. We keep a very close eye on FCA news and will continue to post about the latest throughout 2018.
We also explored the affect technology is having on the auto industry, looking at new ways consumers are shopping for vehicles, using the internet, social media and smartphone technology to help them make decisions. In one of our most recent blogs, we asked: How millennials are changing the way cars are sold. We also looked at how retailers can enhance a visit to their dealership with digital technology.
A few Car Care Plan specific highlights from the year: in March, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and ITN Productions produced “Vision for the Future”. The programme explored why the British motor industry remains a global leader, with Car Care Plan explaining how to improve the aftersales relationship with customers. You can read more about Vision for the Future and watch the programme on our blog here and here.
Also on the blog, we provided regular insight into our products and their benefits for both retailers and consumers. They include Warranty, GAP Insurance, MOT Test Cover, Roadside Assistance, Tyre and Alloy Insurance, and Cosmetic Warranty. Read our eBook Protecting your customers with GAP insurance to learn more about why GAP remains popular among consumers.
In 2018, we will continue to share over 40 years’ worth of knowledge on the financial add-on market, where Car Care Plan provides over 1.25 million peace of mind products in over 50 countries every year.