COVID-19 has clearly had a colossal impact globally and has affected all aspects of our daily lives. With life returning to some form of normal, what implications will there be for those needing to select a new vehicle this year?
In speaking to our brand partners, many are fortunately back to work and have begun reopening their facilities. Factories are currently sitting at an average production capacity of 55-65%, increasing each week. The primary focus is on filling the backlog of customer orders (cars that are spoken for) and building “unclaimed” stock thereafter.
Each manufacturer is working hard to get back up to full speed while implementing appropriate protections for their respective workers. Many of these facilities were closed for several weeks and the backlog to catch up is considerable. This is before we account for a reduced workforce and a fractured supply chain. Ramp up, as for most businesses, will be dependent on a continued reduction in COVID-19 cases, both in the UK and abroad.
Build dates for most manufacturers are approximately a month out from when an order is placed with delivery several weeks after that (depending on the manufacturer). As factories are running at reduced capacity, it is expected that the primary focus will continue to be fulfilling specific client orders for some time, whereas the norm would be to complete these along with surplus stock. In the unfortunate event that current trends reverse and case numbers begin to increase a reduction in production would be likely, resulting in extended lead times.
For those less particular about their choice of vehicle, there are certainly incentives to be had but for individuals with must-have specifications, it is important to get ahead and start the process of selecting your vehicle well in advance of your ideal delivery date. Each brand will have individual timelines and this may vary based on model and specification.
While we certainly don’t encourage our clients being rushed into a decision, with the supply chain drastically disrupted, we are advising clients on car renewals up to and including the turn of the year to set realistic expectations for delivery.
Fortunately, it’s a good time to review your options! Many new offers have been released, as manufactures and finance companies attempt to stimulate demand.