Brexit imports hitting new car sales head on

Source: --- Thursday, November 08, 2018
The motor industry provides a very good barometer for the overall economy, and particularly how business and consumers view the world, writes Jim Power . Following the severe economic correction that occurred back in 2008, new car sales drove over a cliff and went into freefall in 2009 to reach just over 57,000. This created serious problems for what is a very important sector of the economy, and one that provides employment in every small town around the country, not to mention the larger towns and cities. Then, in line with the broader economic recovery, new car sales recovered strongly and almost 147,000 new cars were registered in 2016. At this stage, the future looked bright for the market, but then the Brexit vote happened and new car sales declined by over 10% in 2017 and in the first 10 months of 2018, a decline of 4.4% has been recorded. The decline in new car sales since 2016 has occurred despite what has been, in theory, a very supportive economic background. Employment is growing strongly and reached a record high in the second quarter of this year; the unemployment rate has come down from 16% in 2012 to just 5.3% at the moment; and growth in GDP has been very impressive. [readmore]884077[/readmore] The key factor that has undermined new car sales has been the substantial decline in the value of sterling. The weakness of sterling has made used imports from the UK very attractive. A car costing £14,480 in 2018 would b ...

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