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Current challenges in the motoring industry

Richard Aucock from Motoring Research explains the impact that Coronavirus has had on the motoring industry and how these changes have affected the Motability Scheme. 


The motor industry is among the manufacturing sectors that have been most badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The global industry virtually shut down when the crisis was at its peak, with April new car production in the UK plummeting a staggering 99.7%. Just 197 new cars rolled off the production lines – in a normal April, well over 70,000 new motors are normally built.

This considerable decline, to a level not seen since the Second World War, shows the challenges car brands have been presented with. It’s not just UK car plants that have been affected either, with global new car supply significantly impacted by the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While new cars are once again being built in many countries, including the UK, social distancing and disrupted supply chains means few factories are producing much more than 50% of their regular output. This is going to result in a shortfall of new car supply in the near future – and unfortunately Motability Scheme customers may not be immune from this.

It’s possible that deliveries of some new cars may be delayed. Others may simply not be available for the foreseeable future. And prices of other cars may, sadly, have to rise.

Those involved in delivering the Scheme are doing all that they can to mitigate the challenges being faced by the motor industry.

Keeping customers mobile is the Motability Scheme’s top priority – that is why they have automatically extended leases where customers are faced with a delay. They are also working closely with all car manufacturers to ensure any such delays are kept to a minimum.

It is the Scheme’s aim to offer the widest, most comprehensive range of cars possible, so customers can find exactly the right vehicle for their needs.

Unfortunately, as manufacturer costs increase this is likely to be reflected in prices. You might find some cars on the Motability Scheme are a little more expensive in this quarter than previously. Despite this, the Scheme continues to include a great selection of affordable cars with a wide range of options to suit different needs.

Indeed, despite the many challenges the Motability Scheme currently offers 500 cars with an Advance Payment of less than £500 – and 300 cars have nil Advance Payment. There are even more than 100 cars on the Motability Scheme available for less than the higher rate mobility allowance.

The Scheme has also been able to secure strong deals on greener vehicles, for customers who want to do their bit for the environment. This quarter’s pricing for the Toyota Prius is among the most affordable ever, and other ultra-efficient vehicles also benefit from lower prices.

The global new car market is challenging, and is likely to remain so in the near future as factories only slowly get back up to speed. Rest assured though, the Motability Scheme is doing everything possible to collaborate with manufacturers and ensure delays are minimised and the choice of cars is as vast as possible. And where there are any delays, don’t worry– you’ll be kept mobile with an extension of your current lease. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Scheme’s focus first and foremost remains keeping you mobile throughout, and beyond, your lease.

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