Brexit to impact new car sales in 2017 warns economist
10 November 2016
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
A leading UK economist has predicted new vehicle sales will fall and prices will rise as a result of Brexit.
Speaking at the ICFM conference earlier this week, Jacob Neil, chief UK economist at Morgan Stanley, suggested that next year new car and van sales will fall by 8% to 2.7m units compared with 2016's predicated figure of 3m registrations, along with a further decline of 2% in 2018.
Neil said the fall in sales would be attributed to the weakness of the pound, resulting in higher import prices, which would then be passed onto fleet and retail buyers.
"The winners will be manufacturers with factories in the UK, but there will be a repricing challenge for importers. Higher retail prices will impact on sales," he said.
Neil also speculated the country's Brexit negotiations could last until 2022, meaning the UK's economic uncertainty is set to continue a lot longer than the Government's two-year forecast to put new trade agreements in place.
Also at the conference, Paul Hollick, ICFM's chairman unveiled a new logo and brand identity - which included renaming itself from the Institute of Car Fleet Management to ICFM - and awarded certificates to those who passed its courses in the last year.
Hollick also acknowledged those with fleet responsibilities may not be full-time professionals, but may predominantly work in HR, finance or travel roles, and announced it will adapt its training courses to reflect evolving technologies within the industry.
"We want to attract more members from the fleet industry, but we also want to develop the careers of those people working in other areas to develop the fleet/mobility/travel manager of the future," he said.