New vehicle orders remain strong in spite of shortages

The Prince of Wales (centre) is shown McLaren's Extreme E car and its new hand-drawn livery, by Zak

The Prince of Wales is shown McLaren's Extreme E car and its new hand-drawn livery, by Zak Brown, left, chief executive of McLaren Racing, at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow - Credit: PA

Customers are still ordering new cars and commercials at high levels knowing it may be several months before they receive delivery.

Most manufacturers have come up with ways for people and businesses to keep their current vehicle for an extended term, in order to combat the continued shortages of semi-conductors and other components.

For many franchise dealers stocks have never been so low or order banks so high.

While this is frustrating for all concerned and will have a longer-term effect on aftersales work, it is keeping the retail motor industry fully employed.

Many businesses are desperate to recruit sales advisors and also technicians as over the Covid period employees have decided on a different path for their working lives, or just need a break from the stress and problems the virus has caused.

Families are disrupted when their children bring home Covid from school and one parent has to remain at home to look after them and many people have decided to return to things they used to do before Covid and accept the risk of catching it. 

Training moved to online as practical, close-up involvement was not allowed and this resulted in a number of apprentices abandoning their choice of career particularly in industries where they were furloughed to reduce cost.

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The used car market fell in October and prices are also slightly lower for the first time for some months.

This should continue until the beginning of next year when prices are expected to rise again.

Some fleets who have been holding on to their vehicles are now releasing stocks in case prices fall further and this will help with availability. 

The price of fuel is moving purchasers to more economic and fuel-efficient models which is assisting the growth in the electric and hybrid models but it is hoped fuel prices will fall when oil production increases production in the new year. 

Meanwhile, at COP 26 four of the world’s biggest carmakers have failed to sign a summit pledge to sell zero emission cars by 2035.

Volkswagen, Toyota, Renault-Nissan and Hyundai-Kia were not among the signatories to the climate summit declaration. Those that did sign were Ford, General Motors and Jaguar, Land-Rover.

China and the USA who have the world’s largest vehicle markets have failed to sign as countries.

The UK has already committed to the banning of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 and it is expected a combination of incentives and penalties to move this forward will start from 2024. 

Finally, Shell has made the decision to re-locate its headquarters to the UK from Holland.

This will provide new jobs and simplify their commitment to transition to net zero by 2050, as they maintain the move to greener energy can only be paid for by oil and gas. 

Keep safe and keep smiling. I look forward to next week.