Cox Automotive has published the latest Automotive Market Landscape for 2020.


New car market

Registrations currently down -39.7% YTD and the SMMT forecast -30% down by the end of 2020

  • Lost 600k registrations during COVID-19 lockdown and YTD
  • Production constraints for OEMs due to lost efficiencies and supply chain issues
  • SMMT reduce the 2020 full-year outlook to -30%, representing more than £20 billion of lost sales
  • Order take healthy across the network, but concerns remain regarding supply
  • OEMs focus on maximising 2020 recovery

Wholesale activity

Caution increases on Q4, whilst values remain healthy with supply constraints

  • Supply returns to mid-July volumes, an increase of 18.2 indexed points following a post-lockdown low
  • Used car prices remain healthy following a rise of 3.9 indexed points, as supply aligns with demand
  • Online auctions continue to offer customers buying efficiencies and multi-sale opportunities
  • Pent-up demand drive sales return to pre-lockdown volumes
  • Mid-September performance illustrates the demand for quality retail stock

A period of volatility ahead for values

COVID-19 causes an unseasonably strong used car market

  • Values highest YTD since the 2009 financial recovery (2009 - +10.7% YTD)
  • The unseasonal market continues – market proceeding with caution into Q4 and Q1 2021
  • Pressure on low graded (4/5/U) vehicles as buyers become more selective and impact of lockdown public nervousness eases

New and Used – E.U./International

European market facing -25% decline in sales in 2020

  • Majority of the global automotive sector in the red
  • Concerns increase for the U.K. new car market as we approach the Brexit deadline and lack of clarity
  • The E.U. will potentially experience a decline of 3 million units in 2020, down from 12.8 million in 2019 to 9.6 million - -25%


UK 2020

New car volumes scenarios

  • We initially forecast 2.27m new car registrations
  • In the “W-shape” recovery we expect, down -23.8%/1,716,999 m
  • Concurs with SMMT forecast (-30.6%/1,603 m) issued July 2020 actuals released, showing -39.7% YoY decline
  • Actual recovery will be determined by:
    • When and how can dealers trade again?
    • Will there be sufficient consumer demand?
    • How many vehicles will be supplied?

Used car volume scenarios

  • We initially forecast 7.99m used car transactions
  • In the “W-shape” recovery we expect, down 17%
  • No 3rd party views published and no actuals yet
    published for 2020 Q3, showing post-lockdown recovery
  • Less impact on used than new as not relying on
    a production that was already constrained
  • Actual recovery will be determined by:
    • How can dealers trade in quarter 4?
    • Will there be sufficient consumer demand post furlough?
    • The challenges facing supply

Retailers anticipating the emergence of new trends

Dealers are expecting a change in consumer buying behaviours

  • The expectation of consumer caution towards finance
  • Accelerating consumer trends already in place pre-pandemic
    • Move towards subscription vs ownership
    • Attitude towards fuel type
  • A move towards used cars in the short term; potential supply constraints and
  • affordability causing negativity towards new
  • Avoidance of public transport in short to medium but returning in the long term
  • Concerns towards cash flow, as access to capital lowest worry