20 September 2021

Future of UK Auto Retailing

2021-2026 and the build-up to 2030


Looking at the next five years and the run-up to 2030, the UK’s auto retail industry is facing some of the biggest shifts in direction ever seen. With digitisation already well under way, vehicle electrification and agency agreements are set to dominate the landscape for the next five to ten years as manufacturers and dealers work out how best to run a profitable retail operation.


In our new Future of UK Auto Retailing report, published in partnership with Lombard, we investigate these topics in depth and talk to the experts involved in shaping our industry’s future.


Click here to order your copy now


The Future of UK Auto Retailing report identifies the impact the last year has had on the automotive landscape, investigates how the step-change in multi-channel retailing has come to the forefront of the retail process driven by the need to meet multiple lockdown restrictions.


The report also explores a potential move to agency agreements and the effect this will have on retail profitability and manufacturer network structures. Further chapters explore upcoming regulations, the move to meet the 2030 UK ban on new petrol and diesel cars and the outlook for new brands entering the UK, plus chapters covering finance, aftersales and technology.


Report Chapters:

The leap forward

Upheaval isn’t an exaggeration for what happened in 2020 to the UK car sales market. Disruption forced upon it by efforts to control the pandemic meant that ever-resilient auto retailers saw a pace of change within their business unrivalled in modern times.


Market framework

Instant consumer gratification in retail is being balanced with rapidly developing technology. How will consumers behave in the run up to 2030 and how will OEMs and retailer react. Do we need large retail networks to truly offer 100% market-coverage or can digital operations offer cost savings and satisfaction enhancements?


Regulation and technology

Updating of Block Exemption regulation’s first stage is less than a year away and the motor specific section less than two. Combine this with increasingly-draconian emissions regulations plus a move to an ICE ban and retailers will need to stay on their toes to keep up and make sure how they’re going to deal with the changes.


Industry structure

A perfect storm is lining up to hit the auto retail industry with three factors converging. Electric vehicles, connected cars and Block Exemption mean that OEMs are reassessing the new and used car sales models. Increased development costs, higher risk and rising data value mean OEMs want greater control of distribution.


New car market

Is the UK on the verge of an influx of new brands? Will these brands bring new technology, disrupt the existing players and succeed? And what options are there for existing brands to evolve as we head to 2030?


Used car market

Used car sales aren’t immune from the encroaching steps of agency agreements as OEMs see ways of reaping value from the vehicle lifetime and not just the customer. However, used cars are not like new. Fluctuations in volumes, values and customer trends make this a much harder market to master even if the rewards are higher.


Aftersales and bodyshop

The biggest profit centre for retailers has changed little in the past ten years, however the next ten is likely to make up for this as the rising volume of EVs and the drop in maintenance needs makes efficiency and retention key.



Consumer protection is at the heart of finance regulatory body thinking. Their approach to risk on behalf of car buyers means retailers have to adapt, but this also produces opportunities to enhance customer satisfaction as well as develop new products to drive growth.


The business model

As OEMs edge toward an all-encompassing technology-driven mobility model for vehicle use, what part do retailers play in this new model? Do retailers offer parallel mobility solutions or develop new spin-off revenue streams? Can any new model fully cover the true costs of running a dealership including all brand investment costs.


Click here to order your copy now



Electronic report (PDF format):

Auto Retail Network publication subscribers £250

Non-subscribers £375


Email: caroline@auto-retail.com


Call: 01572 724687


The Future of UK Auto Retailing report is published in partnership with Lombard.



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