Stability returns to car sales

Cox Automotive is predicting a more stable year for new and used car sales, after a period of volatility.

It expects 2,020,050 new vehicle registrations in 2024, an increase of 6.1% year-on-year, with 7,350,205 used car sales for the full year.

Insight director Philip Nothard said: “The SMMT’s latest figures show that 2023 played out almost exactly as we predicted at the start of the year. With the actuals now published, we’ve re-reviewed our forecasts for 2024 and remain confident they paint an accurate picture of what we can expect over the next 12 months. In summary, we anticipate a year of comparative stabilisation and modest growth in the continued evolution of how cars are bought, sold, owned, and used.”

However, despite an expectation of stronger sales, the market is still down on the 2000-2019 average.

Nothard said: “The health of the sector is improving, but the list of external forces shaping macro activity in automotive will get longer this year. Among these factors is the ZEV mandate. The agency sales model remains an unknown and we do not yet know the full implications of its expected, widespread introduction.

“There’s also the fact that production is beginning to exceed demand for the first time since the pandemic, the much talked about but not-yet-seen price parity between ICE and EV vehicles, and the continued emergence of new entrants in the EV market.”