An expert on the United Kingdom's automotive sector has forecast a slump in UK new car sales following last week's vote to leave the European Union.
With previously divided politicians now calling for calm and unity in the wake of last Thursday's momentous referendum, the car industry now had to take stock of the situation, according to John Leech, head of automotive at accountants KPMG.
Leech said that while some recent estimates put domestic car sales in excess of three million in the coming years, this was now “highly unlikely” and he was expecting 2.5 million unit sales in 2017.
And as the automotive sector was likely to be the most affected by the leave vote he argued it should be taking steps now to mitigate the impact.
“The fall in sterling and commodity prices will prompt vehicle production plans, sales incentives, financing arrangements and purchasing plans to be adjusted.
“Information about employees, procurement and distribution needs to be gathered and reassessed such that quick action can be taken once the anticipated changes to VAT, customs and migration rules are enacted.”
However there was one ray of sunshine, Leech said: “I still anticipate that UK car production will grow by double digits in 2016 to 1.7 million cars, driven principally by EU exports buoyed by the weak pound.”