Morten Holmsten – a look at the year ahead
As 2021 comes to a close and we begin to look forward to the year ahead in 2022, we have experienced an extraordinary year in the used vehicle market, with Autorola continuing to help dealers access the stock needed to trade while more traditional physical avenues have been closed to them.
As we look ahead to 2022, it is clear the stock shortage in the used car market won’t disappear overnight, indeed it looks set to stay for most of the year ahead. Some brands will be better able to manage the production issues than others, meaning that we expect just a few brands to return to full production by Q2 2022, which will start to ease the burden on the used car market by the end of the year.
Changing market share
We are seeing brands’ market shares change, and this will continue into next year. As newer brands, and in particular many of the Korean manufacturers have benefitted from an increase in the quality of new product over the last five years, while also managing their production over the last 12 months, we are seeing a much greater volume of these vehicles entering the young/used market.
As a result of this volume shift into newer brands, I would expect dealers may well diversify their stock choices in the year ahead while relying on new sourcing channels to fulfil their demands and maintain profitability.
Luckily, Autorola remains perfectly placed to help these diversifying dealers, working across all brands and as many territories as it does.
Diverging supply among car markets
A second trend that we foresee emerging in 2022 is one of a divergence of supply across global markets, which may well be felt more acutely within European markets.
Where many used car retail networks are supplied and supported by OEMs and the rental industry combined, both sectors are currently experiencing pressures, which will have a knock-on effect for retailers.
As the supply of young used vehicles will be restricted due to the lack of supply from these two major sectors, we foresee a tendency for OEMs to favour their home markets for the disposal of stock. As a result, we expect that home-market manufacturer owned dealer groups will experience less of a vehicle shortage than some others.
Again however, dealers outside of these parameters will be able to use the Autorola network to source available stock without borders and without manufacturer constraints.
The EV future is coming
I think it is fair to say the demand for EVs will only now increase going forwards, and of these, Battery Electric Vehicles will likely outperform hybrids for most vendors. As a result, dealers who have not yet begun to retail these vehicles should consider doing so in the next year. Demand and supply of these vehicles is only going to go up, and so any investments needed into charging infrastructure at dealerships should be made now, to avoid retailers being left behind the curve.
Overall, the online retail environment is set to continue as it has done, while new players will continue to target online sales channels for 100% of their business. This is certainly the way the industry appears to be heading, although it won’t be an instant shift to digital. As every country has now learned to work around Covid-19, restrictions on trade will continue to ease, and many retailers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Autorola continues to be fully prepared for these changes, as 95% of our processes are already digital. Navigating a changing business landscape will be much easier for Autorola clients, who will continue to benefit from our end-to-end and borderless network proposition.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New year.