New car sales have experienced a tumultuous time in Scotland over the past year or so. After falling by 8% in 2017, they experienced a slight rebound in April after the release of new number plates, but have since dropped by 9.67% in October. These figures make grim reading for the auto industry north of the border, especially as these are the worst figures across the UK. There are a few positive though as the Scottish car market experiences a few changes as it looks towards the future.
What’s Behind the Decline?
There are a variety of factors behind the fall in sales of new cars in Scotland. Ongoing speculation around Brexit and the impact this will have on the market, prices, people’s incomes and more has resulted in more careful spending. While a lot of recent media coverage about the negatives of owning and running a diesel have had a clear impact.
For example, back in June the sales of new petrol cars actually increased but for diesels they experienced a fall for the 15th consecutive month. Uncertainty around taxes and restrictions that may be introduced for diesel drivers and the negative impact emissions have on air quality are two major reasons for the decline.
Demonstrating a Greener Focus
Some good news that came out of the recent new car sales figures from Scotland were that hybrid and electric car sales were actually on the rise. Building on the back of the uncertainty surrounding diesels (and petrol cars with plans to phase them out eventually) this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Especially as Scotland has set itself the target of phasing out new petrol and diesel cars by 2032, a good eight years earlier than the UK’s target of 2040, there may be a greater urge for many new car buyers to make the switch sooner rather than later. If anything, it shows the country’s plans are starting to take effect.
Good News for Used Car Dealers
One industry that has benefitted from falling new car sales has been used car dealers. Scotland offers a good opportunity for any budding entrepreneurs wanting to start up a used car business, though finding a niche that focuses on a certain manufacturer or style, such as just 4x4s, to stand out is a good idea.
Taking out motor trade insurance from Arthur J Gallagher to protect all stock and investments will be necessary too. Plus, with the phasing out of diesel vehicles these could prove harder to shift in the future.
Will New Car Sales Turn Around?
Despite the recent poor sales for new cars in Scotland, there is still hope that it will be turned around. The rise in electric and hybrid models should help to slowly propel growth, while there are a number of new models set to be released in the coming months. Should these prove popular then it may drive some level of growth.
Falling new car sales may not look good for the Scottish auto industry but there are a few positive to be found within its recent performance.