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'Cost will fuel the adaptation of new motoring trends in the UK'

John Leech, KPMG head of automotive

Cost will drive UK motorists to adopt driverless cars and mobility as a service, according to KPMG partner and head of automotive John Leech who takes to the stage at this year’s AM DigiTech conference.

The newly launched conference, which takes place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on 27th April, explores the digitisation and the technological advances as well as changing consumer behaviour and new expectations which are reshaping automotive retail.

Drawing on its recent Global Automotive Executive Survey 2017, Leech (pictured) will explore a number of trends which will influence automotive retail over the next five to 10 years and impact on how dealers run their businesses.

He said: “High fuel prices, dense urban populations, shorter more frequent journeys and regulations such as congestion charging and low emission zones makes the UK particularly suitable for new transportation trends such as driverless cars and mobility as a service.

"I think we will see them adopted fairly rapidly during the 2030s and possibly at a rate which could take some in the sector by surprise.

“Motorists in the UK are not open minded to switching from car ownership than elsewhere but these new ways of motoring will be so much cheaper that millions will switch out of economic necessity.

“As a result there will be fewer cars in the car parc, but they will be used more often, leading to an increase in miles driven overall.

"This will have huge implications for the franchised dealer model which largely depends on ownership underpinned by funding solutions and is volume driven.

"There will be less B to C business and more B to B business, a reduction of new and used car sales, but an increase in a mix of leasing, contract hire and mobility sales.

“Dealers investing in new showrooms should be thinking about this now and preparing for a not too distant future when private motorists are less likely to purchase their own car.

"Already UK NSCs are thinking about how their businesses will need to adapt. It’s not just dealers and manufacturers who need to face the prospect of some quite drastic changes to our motoring habits, finance companies will also be affected as there will be more fleets as we move from a B to C to a B to B world.

“We will see electric cars becoming a valid alternative for many consumers in the early 2020s but electric becomes economically far more attractive when combined with mobility and driverless technology in the late 2020s. Electric is the future with 90% of executives in our survey predicting the dominance of EVs by 2025. It means dealers should invest in facilities that would also support electric vehicles.

“These trends provide an opportunity for both manufacturers and dealers but only if they adapt.  Power will shift to those with large fleets which are capable of providing mobility as a service.  Dealers need to reflect that large fleet operators will become just as important to them as the manufacturer and consumer are today.”



Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers and bookings are already being taken, please contact Paige Phillips on 01733 395133, email or visit the website


Ricoh Arena, Coventry CV6 6GE



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