More than 175 of the UK automotive industry’s top dogs got together earlier this month to listen to Paul Everitt and a host of other prominent industry figures deliver a presentation on the immediate future of our industry.
Based on analytical projections from universities and governmental departments, there was an acknowledgement to the growth sectors of 2011 but, more importantly, warnings for flatter returns over the next two years, even concerns that there may be the odd ‘gets worse before it gets better’ scenario playing out in certain sectors before this year is out.
There is a growing perception that fleet sales will dominate the new vehicle sales market whereas the impressive 16.7% growth shown in new van sales last year is very much expected to level out over 2012 before taking off again (at a reduced rate) in 2013.
Seminars like these are not just a day out for a selection of the industry’s number crunchers and boffins but the results in this format, with SMMT now with its own office in Westminster, have real impact on a whole host of sectors that the untrained eye may consider unrelated.
The automotive sector employs close to three quarters of a million people, for example. That’s a big responsibility and a lot of jobs to safeguard. With 3M vans already on UK roads, commercial servicing and van insurance industries that run alongside contribute massively to the UK economy.
Other speakers delivering at the Silverstone Wing were Trevor Finn (Pendragon), David Raistrick (Deloitte), John Lewis (BVRLA) and Helena Fearon (Risk & Compliance Trader Media).
Hosted by the newly-formed VRA (Vehicle Remarketing Association), the event looks like it could be one of many. Vehicle life-cycles are becoming a more studied – and sought after – niche and their involvement in used vehicles with direct input from members in the industry in the know could hold real sway in the future.
With the retail aspect holding steady, van insurance companies should be able to concentrate on some continuity with their renewal or application for new van insurance quotes. There are few peaks and troughs envisaged by those in the know, which will hopefully see some stability return to a sector (van insurance) plagued by underselling and then unexpectedly having to compete with van insurance comparison websites over the last few years.
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