Paul C

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Everything posted by Paul C

  1. Just seen it online, I don't think its anything unexpected - they are discussing how to wean people off it July onwards and that it is unsustainable.
  2. For sure, all the indications are the furlough scheme will be extended or some kind of partial transition away from it. But the indications are we're heading for a sizeable recession, so its inevitable that some will suffer and/or lose their jobs. The government simply won't be able to prop up the economy to pre-Covid levels anyway. And the virus is here to stay, at least in the medium term. So yes, at some point people will have to get used to the risk of going to work in a fairly normal fashion. Car sales and car dealers are pretty much on the front line, and its not like working in a supermarket where you don't really have to "sell" the bread etc to them, just have it on shelves for the picking then have a till. And that's not even taking into account the downturn in demand. Cheap cars will always sell well but especially so now. Expensive secondhand cars - they kinda sell themselves, and lend themselves quite well to contactless/online/distance selling etc. And will see a boost from those who previously might have bought a new car. Its the middle ground where it will be hit the hardest.
  3. Whichever you go for, the others will immediately put their prices down and the new phone will probably catch fire. If it doesn't, you'll drop it and crack the screen in the first week.
  4. You know the adverts which are served are determined on a per-user basis, based on their typical browsing history?
  5. There would still be 4 mobile phone providers - Virgin is currently a MVNO so it would still leave EE, O2, Three and Vodaphone. I'm not sure on broadband/internet providers.
  6. Along with everyone else, I have no idea what's going to happen. I am wondering if they canvassed all areas of business with the question "if there was a partial lift of the lockdown, how would you adapt your business to minimise the negative effects of the crisis" or something along those lines. I can see it happening very very gradually so don't assume we'll be first (or second...) but there's obviously some sectors with really big problems - for example pubs with live gigs, squished into a small venue, there's no real prospect of social distancing in something like that. Or cinemas, theatres, etc For car dealers, there is a wide variety of settings. The big posh dealers with 20 ft high ceilings and spacey indoors showrooms can demonstrate SD fine; so can the yards which are basically outdoors (just do the paperwork away from customer then leave it near the door of the small office/portacabin for them to look at and sign, or something similar). But there's a few in between I'd not fancy having to work out a viable plan. And test drives.....hmmmmmmm. So, fingers crossed some common sense and thoughtful planning rather than the "emergency" rushed nature of the imposition of the lockdown and throwing money/loans/grants at the problem is shown. Similar for auctions, there's not too great an alteration to their normal working methods to get things going and compliant with SD. Once trading in a near-normal level starts, the fun begins. We will have a better idea of supply and demand; hopefully any supply chain issues are worked out once the auctions start flowing again (new cars excepted) so prices should become more predictable. I personally think demand will be up for <£3k, flat for £3-6k and down for everything else. New cars - I don't think the supply issue is as bad as feared; but the demand will be so poor that supply won't be an issue, and many manufacturers will be struggling in 6-12 months. Along with this, some of the (posh) franchise dealers will suffer badly too.
  7. Interesting, what would you say it is as a % of normal?
  8. IMHO the demand just isn't there. There may be a "built up demand" once things fully re-open but I think it will be difficult to sense it, amongst the drop due to other factors. For example, PCP deals - the FCA have ruled that finance firms need to be flexible and have even gone as far as spelling out, in a reasonable amount of detail, that punters can have a payment holiday for 3 months if they want it (and are affected). So any momentum from maturing PCPs has been squished out too. They are very busy at the call centres etc extending terms left right and centre.
  9. They'll either extend furlough to 6 months or reduce the MoT extension to line up with the end of the furlough period (currently end June). That way (apart from the anomoly of cars which didn't actually have an MoT so didn't get the extension, which will have created a tiny amount of build up demand) nobody loses out (too much) except for the 3-6 months or so of fixed costs. At the end of the day, someone has to swallow the losses in fixed costs expense etc. There's the business support grant, don't forget. Unfortunately the other forms of support are in loans.
  10. Don't think we need to worry about that for a while.
  11. There won't be a backlog. No cars (which had MoT on 30 Mar) will be due an MoT until 30 Sept and all cars which had an MoT, get the extension. There will be a small handful of cars which for various reasons didn't have an MoT on 30th March, if they're to be used on the road again they'll need one but its a small proportion.
  12. (This all assumes its not reversed...) Its pretty much a given that 6 months worth of work will not be there, with very limited 'build up demand' for stuff to help once it does restart. I have no idea how an MoT-only garage would cope with that length of downturn. They're going to have to diversify, I guess. The greater fear is that customers further lose confidence in the whole MoT scheme - "We got by with the 18 month thing, my car still goes forwards and backwards so it must be okay" - especially in a post-recession dystopia.
  13. To be honest it doesn't look too bad. They could even leave it in place as a promotion for their electric cars.
  14. Thanks James, a good detailed article there. Personally I think it will depend on mainly 2 factors, 1) the approach of stocking loans providers, 2) whether dealers can save on fixed costs eg rent, salaries when some kind of partial- or gradual restart to the economy occurs. The second point applies to the wider economy, without that then sure, supply and demand will be very unstable and cause a lot of variation in prices.
  15. In theory, every business is key because everything is interlinked. But they needed to draw the line somewhere otherwise Reffective would have been >1. It was a pretty obvious decision to shut most retail down. There would always be "what if" scenarios where somebody needs something they can't get, and I guess they assumed if a key worker's car broke down, its fixable and they wouldn't just buy another car!!!
  16. They can stimulate the economy via additional credit and/or additional money (QE) however with the economy being global and especially the car industry interlinked, the prosperity of the UK will be somewhat tied to others. So there's always a tie but relative success can be achieved if better than those others (eg China, USA, Europe). Regarding actual stimulus measures, I would rank the car industry, on a crude measure of "how badly affected by CV19" at about 4/10. Compare with, say, pubs 10/10, the airline industry 8/10, other retail 3/10, IT industry 0/10 (unaffected or additional opportunities are here), etc. They may choose to lower VAT as a stimulus because its quite easy to do but I suspect they'll target stimulus a bit more towards those sectors of business which are both more adversely affected AND critical to the country's infrastructure - so expect the airline industry to get some extra money but we're well down the list. There is something of a finite limit on how much stimulus can be pumped into the economy, thus the rate of progress and the length of time it will take to get back to where we were. And I think it will tend towards QE than credit due to the problems of the 2009 financial crisis.
  17. I am surprised they're surprised. Would be interested what price range you surveyed - for example new and £10k-30k might be 40% down; but is £2k-£4k down too? Regarding the UK, I suspect there will be a proportion of dealers who will do everything they can to NOT open in the near future, given that they will probably lose money at a higher rate than they are currently, especially with the majority of their sales team furloughed. I think the only ones which stand a chance are those which were either 90-100% of the way there with online selling (as in, reducing the customer contact to 0 visits or 1 visit to finalise everything and collect it). You'd have taken the risk to invest in the internet tech pre-lockdown and that risk will reward you well now. Also I reckon most people who simply "wanted" (didn't NEED) a car before, don't want it now. And a good proportion of those who needed one before don't need it any more, at least for the next few months ( household 2>1 car, or lost job, or try fix broken car).
  18. Its a terrible scheme but I didn't think "oh the government have decided to punish garages" I just took it as a reflection of how deep and serious the scientists who advise the govt are approaching this current crisis. The implied message being that they expect life to be near-as-paused as we know it for ~6 months.
  19. In fact, yes, the answer is indeed 7. They are applying the extensions 7 days before the MoT runs out, so that if they change their mind they haven't already extended an MoT and then need to retract it.
  20. To be fair, Russia is quite a big place. Poland, not so much.
  21. Is it fair to say 10-20yr old cars which are more durable these days than the equivalent age range 10 years ago? I'm thinking, the adoption of OBD2, maturity of electronics (compared to manufacturers first attempts at it, after the carburettor era), not so much cost cutting, complex systems etc we see in some of today's less reliable cars?
  22. I don't think the "its a legal obligation" washes. In the spirit of the regulations, there's something wrong with creating a legal obligation then fulfilling it to work around the intent of the regulation. The other retailers who are offering "click and collect" are ones which are allowed to be open anyway; they are choosing to offer click and collect as an option amongst getting it delivered (time delay) and visiting the store (infection transmission risk/exposure to staff/H&S etc). It seems a reasonable prudent thing to do for a shop who's allowed to open. But car dealers (physical premises) aren't allowed to open. Yes, the service department is but the showroom isn't, its pretty clear in the guidelines which bits are and aren't. Ironically (I'm not suggesting it though.....) there is a way round. There are shops which sell both essential and non-essential items - eg supermarkets are selling gardening stuff, trampolines, laptops, etc. This is naturally, winding the garden centres etc up!!! I have always taken the precaution of buying a pint of milk along with a trampoline, you're probably the same yourself (or maybe waiting a little while before I buy that shiny new trampoline). In theory if you put a couple of tins of baked beans on a shelf in a car showroom.......