British people have suddenly stopped buying cars and as BI's Jim Edwards notes, it's not clear why.
As the following chart from Barclays shows, both new- and used-car sales have collapsed...
While the slump in consumer confidence remains a major factor...
But as Edwards notes, a number of other factors are colliding simultaneously to hurt UK car sales:
- The rise of apps like Uber, Gett, and Lyft are making car ownership in urban areas less necessary.
- British people have a close to zero household savings rate, and way too much debt, making further car purchases difficult.
- Consumers are afraid a recession might be coming and have reduced their spending on expensive items.
- The PCP car loan trend may have peaked, flooding the market with nearly new used cars.
- A number of car manufacturers are offering "diesel scrappage schemes" in which they take your old diesel car if you trade in for a newer, cleaner vehicle.
- The government announced it would ban sales of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
UK car sales are especially vulnerable to fluctuations in demand because Britain's excess right-hand drive cars cannot be shipped to other areas of Europe, which use left-hand drive models.