Believe the hype

  03 April 2017

Our lead story talking about the potential for a record March new registration performance is unlikely to be a surprise to many industry watchers. One added factor was at play here, though: a significant change in how VED is applied to new cars.

There’s been a lot of talk about the ‘pull forward’ phenomenon, with discussions centring on whether it would be a significant element of the March figure or not. We won’t know for sure if buyers really did alter their plans significantly until the official figures are published on Wednesday, but the received wisdom to date is that the final tally could at least have been influenced by such behaviour.

Still, the news that March 2017 is on course to top the record-breaking performance of the same time last year is an impressive feat. Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, consumer finance worries and doom-mongering, the auto retail industry has come out on top again.

I don’t posses a magic crystal ball, or an economics degree, so I can’t predict how long this winning streak will last. It will, however, be interesting to see if the ‘pull forward’ effect will impact April’s sales performance. Some industry observers have suggested that everything will even out over the course of the year. Naturally, time will tell. Hopefully the only frustrating element of this forecasting lark is how did VED become so confusing…

Iain Dooley

Editor, Agenda

Auto Retail Network

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