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Life after Brexit: challenges and opportunities for UK automotive retail industry, an NFDA and ICDP discussion paper

NFDA 26/06/2017

“Assessing the implications of Brexit remains very difficult, but while uncertainty and changes ahead will present challenges, there are potential opportunities for the retail automotive sector, which is resilient and capable of adapting and coping with unexpected situations”, Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

Today, NFDA and ICDP* published ‘Life after Brexit: challenges and opportunities for UK automotive retail’. The discussion paper analyses challenges, outlines priorities and investigates opportunities that are likely to appear for the retail auto industry as the post Brexit situation emerges.
The paper is divided into four main sections:

Maintaining customer demand and supporting the UK’s leading edge retail offering

Avoiding potential disruption and increased costs of vehicle supply, whilst making the most of manufacturers’ UK stocking approaches

Avoiding additional regulatory complexity, whilst looking for new opportunities to shape the future post Brexit

Core messages to Government and the NFDA wish list

Steve Young ICDP Managing Director, added, “Future trading relationship between the UK and the EU should not negatively affect the competitive conditions that auto retailers currently operate in. A zero-tariff agreement, a stable currency and continued availability of affordable finance are key elements to ensure the retail automotive sector remains strong and stable, and continues to thrive post Brexit.”

Robinson concluded, “The UK retail motor industry is one of the major contributors to the UK economy, the strength and success of the sector must not be undermined by uncertainty in the forthcoming months as negotiations develop and Brexit implications unfold. We urge the Government to continue to listen to the franchised auto retailers’ voice.”

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Key industry figures:

The top 200 UK franchised dealers have a combined turnover of £61.3bn (up 8.6% on 2015)
UK auto retail has an annual turnover of £181.7bn
UK auto retail has a Gross Value Added of £32.1bn
UK auto retail pays £1.1bn in tax
UK auto retail is 15th largest employer in the UK, employing 1.7% of the UK’s workforce
There are 4,900 auto retailer franchise businesses
*About ICDP

ICDP is an international research-based organisation focused on automotive distribution, including the supply and retailing of new and used vehicles, after sales, network structures and operations.  Through our research activities, data services, education, events and consulting, we work with vehicle makers, retailers, suppliers, and related organisations to improve the quality and effectiveness of the distribution model.  We believe that changing behaviours, new technologies and market pressures will combine to drive new ways of doing business.  We welcome the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals and organisations in pursuit of this goal.  ICDP does not represent any of its clients or their individual policy views.
For more information, see

About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.