New car market is far from ‘normal’, says Vertu CEO

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Vertu Motors announced its final results for the year ended 29 February 2024 yesterday, successfully navigating a difficult trading period, but CEO Robert Forrester has expressed concerns for the new car market.

Forrester said: “We’re not in normal market at all. Largely because the government are dictating what products in the new car market can be sold.

“I think that has a big impact on the new car market. I’ve been in this industry for 23 years and I’ve never really been in a position where the government dictated what we can sell.”

A factor which could negatively influence supply in the new car market is the handling of the transition to electric.

Demand from private customers for EVs low and manufacturers could face fines, billions, if the transition is left in its current state and expected to naturally take its course.

Obstacles on the road to electric run all the way through from generation and distribution of power to consideration for consumers.

“There are dealerships that are underpowered from an EV charging point of view because the National Grid and power companies cannot get power to them,” said Forrester.

He notes the UK is a long way off in terms of infrastructure including how consumers living in flats and terraced houses, without access to off-road parking, are expected to charge an EV.

“The reality is consumers, at these prices and this infrastructure level, do not want mass adoption of EVs. Manufacturers are in a position where they might need to cut back on petrol and diesel to meet targets.”

Forrester added: “Why should manufacturers subsidise a transition to electric vehicles when it is the government that decided that (transition) was going to take place?”

The switch to electric is inevitable and brands such as BYD present options for cutting-edge electric vehicles. Vertu announced yesterday that it will be representing BYD in two weeks time in Gloucester.


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