From 3 to 10 January 2024, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) surveyed its members to seek dealer opinions and their outlook for 2024. The survey received 50 responses from various franchised dealership groups across the UK, representing a total of 279 sites.

“NFDA’s 2024 outlook survey has provided some interesting insights on the challenges that lie ahead in the coming year, as well as providing a snapshot on how dealers fared in 2023” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK.

Key takeaways:

  • Only 27% of dealerships predict that EV sales in 2024 would be ‘better’ in comparison to 2023 and a further 4% responded ‘much better’.
  • Only 7% of dealerships feel that the electric van market will fare ‘well’ in 2024 with the majority holding a ‘neutral’ view (56%).
  • The top three most prevalent reasons given by dealerships as to why customers are not considering purchasing an EV include range (82%), anxiety around lack of chargers (82%) and cost (80%).
  • As we enter an election year, business rates have been ranked by dealerships as the top issue which they would like to see the parties tackle (47% ranking it as their first choice), followed by corporation tax (38% ranking it as their second choice) and fuel duty (29% ranking it as their third choice). EV price incentives and charging infrastructure were ranked fourth and fifth respectively.
  • Dealer opinion on optimism with the overall trading environment for 2024 was split with 42% responding ‘slightly optimistic’ and 44% noting ‘pessimistic’.

Sue Robinson added: “With the Spring Budget set to be delivered on 6 March and a General Election likely to be called in the second half of the year, there are many pertinent issues flagged by the survey which NFDA will continue to raise with the Government. NFDA has already highlighted various issues to the Chancellor ahead of the budget submission deadline on 24 January.

“Most dealerships do not appear to hold an overly optimistic view of the overall trading environment for 2024. As such, it is important that the Government listens to the concerns of the industry during what has proven to be a tough period for the auto retail sector as it navigates its way through the cost-of-living crisis.

“Similarly, with dealerships investing heavily during the transition to electric, it is crucial that the Government provides clarity and guidance surrounding EVs to help stimulate sales this year and avoid EVs flatlining.”