It was a week when the SMMT issued some dire predictions for registrations this year. And if we don’t get to the 1.6 million they are hoping we will register, then it will be the worst year for decades. Car production has fallen to its lowest level since 1954.
Not surprisingly some large motor groups also announced swingeing cuts across the board, aligned with eye watering losses. Inchcape and Pendragon with the two biggest names to go public with bad news, Inchcape’s £188m loss in the first half not looking too clever. Whereas Pendragon announced 1,800 job losses, with a clear indication that the motor industry should prepare itself for many more.
And the manufacturers were not exempt either. Having come through an emissions crisis that barely dented its fortunes, it seems that Covid 19 is an altogether tougher beast. VW posted a €1.4 billion loss in the first half of this year. If that was not bad enough, headlines tell us that a class-action has been launched against Mercedes, the biggest of its kind ever in the UK, for an alleged cheat device.
Renault, however, has dwarfed everybody with an $8 billion loss year to date. Their CEO, however, remains confident about the future and about their alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi. Certainly they are not approaching it from a position of strength, but there is going to be a radical overhaul of the motor industry in the next few years, the alliance probably needs to closer.
All of this while a new while a relatively new entrant to the market, Tesla, continues to ride high. Despite predictions that they would never meet ambitious targets, they continue to confound their critics.
Have a great weekend, do not forget the sunblock!
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