Despite the fact that I bought a very old car last month and will be giving away an even older car this month in order to stimulate the UK economy in general and the car market in particular, I have not managed to halt the general slump.
As you’ve undoubtedly read in our news sectioncar sales are down and I’m surprised that anyone is remotely surprised that this has occurred. It’s the economy, stupid. And it’s also the Government’s fault for trying to impose some of the most ill-considered bits of motoring taxation in living memory.
Because here’s the big problem: if you punish somebody with a whopping increase in taxation they’ll make certain-sure they don’t fall into the same trap again. Hence the madness of the decision to impose punitive taxation on cars registered since 2001 that people have bought and committed their motoring futures to with no knowledge of what was to befall them.
People are going to be very careful about buying anything with four wheels if they’re going to be persecuted for making the ‘wrong’ decision again.
For the last year my friends who still spend their lives in car showrooms have been saying that they are all doomed - and so it may come to pass. The car trade is a surprisingly fragile ecosystem, and one that relies on a constant stream of business and private custom at all levels.
That is drying up. And many dealers – with the gleaming tiles, coffee machines and potted plants to support – are finding themselves on shaky ground. Don’t be surprised if we start to see boarded-up car showrooms next.
In the meantime the British car buyer is going on strike and who can blame them?