Car dealer bosses predict surge in demand, pushing Britain closer to Europe's current biggest market, Germany

A selection of Britain’s car dealer bosses believe UK new car sales will hit 3 million units a year in 2017, a record that would leave the UK not far off Germany, which currently has Europe’s biggest new car market.

Speaking at a dealer conference at last night's Autocar Awards, five key UK distributor bosses from Ford, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Ssangyong and Volvo all predicted a significant growth in new car sales, with estimates ranging between 2.8 and 3m units per year.

"We can certainly see a 3m unit market next year if the current growth rate continues," said Ford of Britain boss Andy Barratt.

Barratt said Ford is already ‘geared up’ for 2.8m units this year – an increase of around 200k cars compared to 2015. "If it happened, we could take our share," Barrett added.

Hyundai UK president Tony Whitehorn agreed, suggesting that: "the market will stretch up to 2.8 to 2.9m units this year".

Whitehorn added: "There is obviously anxiety about Brexit, but assuming the market will go the way we think it will,  new segments and general demand will drive it."

Lance Bradley of Mitsubishi predicted a rise in sales funded by structured finance deals such as PCPs, particularly among younger buyers who don’t want to own a car, but would like to pay to use one instead.

Paul Williams of Ssangyong is less convinced that the 3m target will be achieved and is concerned about managing the number of cars returning from two-year PCPs to prevent the used market being flooded.

Volvo’s customer service director, Paul Baddeley, believes the onset of ‘self-driving’ cars could speed-up the replacement cycle and accelerate scrappage rates as buyers opt for new technology.

A three million new car market will smash the previous record of 2.6m units set last year. Historically the UK has bought around 2m new cars a year, with three bumper years in 2002, 2003, 2004 when sales broke through 2.5m.

Germany has historically recorded 3m a year and according to figures from IHS Global is forecast to hit 3.2m units in 2017 – meaning that it will keep its lead over the UK, albeit with a narrower margin.


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25 May 2016
And that’s good news? How about the next article being about why motoring is becoming more and more of a chore than a pleasure due to tail-to-tail traffic caused by over population. The traffic problem is like the housing crisis, it’s not there’s to few houses it’s that there’s too many people.

25 May 2016
Just think Ford can offload all the cars it makes in Spain & Germany in the UK!!!!
Lets hope "Brexit" comes & Ford will have to start making cars again in the UK!!!!!
(Make where you sell!!!!!)
(Or in the case of Ford; Make where its cheaper & sell in markets that rip off the consumer for maximum profit)

25 May 2016
I'm an engineer in the UK automotive industry and I can tell you without a doubt that they will not make more factories in the UK if Brexit happens. In fact the opposite is certain! The existing factories will be scrapped if they can't sell from here into the EU so instead new factories in Eastern Europe will be built/expanded eg JLR in Slovakia and Avon Tyres in Serbia.

25 May 2016
Totally agree, I was surprised to find that it is indeed true Yorkshire has more people than Scotland! So glad I don't live in England.
All the cars are mostly mass produced rubbish,just like north america,at least we have fewer trucks, but SUV's UGGH!

25 May 2016
Totally Agree.
In the event of a "Brexit",the Germans will re-invest in main-land Eastern Europe & make all their Mini's,Bently's & RR's & Vauxhalls abroad.
And Nissan, owned by Renault will shut down Sunderalnd & make all their Jukes & Cashcows in France & Spain.
And Honda & Toyota would have to do the same................

25 May 2016
Well i'm also an engineer in the uk automotive industry and I think you just posted a load of nonsense.

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