Brexit, falling sales, diesel: how to car bosses will attack 2018 problems

We asked some of the biggest players in the UK automotive industry on their thoughts from 2017 and what they expect of the coming year.

What has been the greatest challenge of the 2017?

Alex Smith – managing director of Nissan GB

“The Volumes are on the decline in the industry and consumer confidence has taken a hit so we are now having to work much harder for each sale and after-sale service opportunity.”

Andy Barratt – President of Ford of Britain

“Corresponding to our new range of vehicle and supply of the place where the customers and the legislators are to the head.”

Andy Palmer ceo, Aston Martin

“To go from 3600 [car year] 5000-plus has been a real challenge and it is a credit to all those who work here.”

Graham Grieve – managing director, BMW Group GB

“A decrease in consumer confidence, combined with the disinformation around diesel.”

Jean-Marc Gales Chief executive officer, Group Lotus

“At the technical level, it is always a challenge to add lightness to our lightweight sports cars.”

Jeremy Hicks – united KINGDOM managing director, JLR

“The demonization unfair of diesel by the media and activists has had a huge impact on our industry by 2017.”

Paul Willis – managing director, VW Group UK

“In the Face of very difficult market conditions, but always to sell more cars.”

What are the biggest challenges for 2018 and beyond?

Alex Smith – Nissan GB

“Maintaining our leadership in the market of the electric vehicle. EV volumes will increase massively over the next two years, and our opponents will be fighting hard to take our number one position.”

Andy Barratt – Ford of Britain

“The brexit deadline of 29 March 2019 has been set and is the most external headwinds we are facing in our European businesses.”

Andy Palmer – Aston Martin

“I think the biggest challenges are factors out of our control… “brexit”, consumer confidence, changes in legislation in China.”

Graham Mourning – BMW Group GB

“I remain very optimistic about the years to come. The new technology is the engine of transformation and we are well placed to offer on the market for the wide range of new models, we will be launching this year and beyond.”

Jean-Marc Gales – Group Lotus

“Clearly, there are new regulations and new technologies to advance and we are in a much better position to embrace and adopt, pursuant to [Lotus owner] Geely. A challenge for the automotive industry, there is always an opportunity for Lotus.”

Jeremy Hicks – JLR

“The uncertainty continues to weigh on the market caused by the government’s ongoing brexit negotiations and consumer confusion around modern diesel technology.”

Paul Willis – VW Group united KINGDOM

“The increasing competition and adapt to the changing ways in which the car will be held and used.”

Are you more worried about brexit now that you have been at the end of 2016?

Alex Smith – Nissan GB

“Nissan continues to work with the government of the united KINGDOM, in order to ensure the long-term success and investment in the united KINGDOM.”

Andy Barratt – Ford of Britain

“More worried, because we don’t have details yet on the UK of the transition from the EU or from our [final] to deal with Brussels”.

Andy Palmer – Aston Martin

“In the last few weeks, we finally saw a gathering of the macro discussions between the EU and the UK, which should give rise to discussions on trade.”

Graham Mourning – BMW Group GB

“The uncertainty is a frustration and makes it difficult to plan. As a society, we have taken a position on “brexit” well-known. “

Jean-Marc Gales – Group Lotus

“We are preparing our business for a number of brexit contingencies, but more importantly, we hope for a soft landing.”

Jeremy Hicks – JLR

“Once we have certainty on the terms and conditions of brexit case, then we can get really excited about the future.”

Paul Willis – VW Group united KINGDOM

“My job is not to worry about things I cannot change, but to run a successful company… I want to friction-free trade, and we need to be convinced that this objective will be achieved.”

Will 2018 be more difficult than 2017?

Alex Smith – Nissan GB

“We need to be more intelligent in the way we operate, but with challenges also opportunities.”

Andy Barratt – Ford of Britain

“Ford of Britain has 15 new products in its car and van ranges this year… full of opportunities for national sales of the company to attract more customers!”

Andy Palmer – Aston Martin

“Generally speaking, 2017 has been a good year, but you have to look at the future pressures to 2018 – whether it’s the brexit or other volatility around the world.”

Graham Mourning – BMW Group GB

“Many of the pressures of 2017 will continue.”

Jean-Marc Gales – Group Lotus

“This year will be more exciting and certainly no more difficult for Lotus.”

Jeremy Hicks – JLR

“We will have more exciting products to offer UK buyers than ever before. Yes, we need clarity on “brexit”, but we still have strong economic fundamentals. “

Paul Willis – VW Group united KINGDOM

“We have planned a hardening of the commercial year 2018.”

What do you see as the most important: autonomy or electrification?

Alex Smith – Nissan GB

“Nissan has a solid plan and product offering in these two areas, but it is not more important than the other.”

Andy Barratt – Ford of Britain

“The electrification of more is imminent, so that its adoption and use with a supporting infrastructure is more important in the short term.”

Andy Palmer – Aston Martin

“Between these two, it is necessary to electrification.”

Graham Mourning – BMW Group GB

“Both are important. Electrification is with us now and is going to become a mainstream powertrain choice in the short and medium term, the Low level of autonomy will spread in the coming years, but full autonomy is a long way.”

Jean-Marc Gales – Group Lotus

“If the market and the legislation of the head towards one or the other or both of these directions – which is likely -, we will be ready with a Lotus solution.”

Jeremy Hicks – JLR

“Electrification is here today and that is a priority for JLR. The autonomy is well on the way, and JLR is working intensively in this area. “

Paul Willis – VW Group united KINGDOM

“The two will be a part of the future, with electrification affecting more people more quickly and more quickly.”

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