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VRA’s focus on post-Brexit outlook, autonomy and 2035 EV impact

VRA’s deputy chair Sam Watkins

The post-Brexit economic outlook, developments in vehicle autonomy and the impact of the 2035 EV announcement will all be key subjects in the next Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) meeting.

Presentations will be given by experts from KPMG, Geldard's, Green TV, Arval and Cap HPI at the remarketing industry body's next meeting, which is set to take place at the offices of motor industry legal specialists, Geldard’s, in Derby, on March 18.

Sam Watkins, chair of the VRA said that the old Chinese proverb "May you live in interesting times" seemed to sum up the motor industry at the moment, but added that the meeting would aim to shine a spotlight on some of the sector's key challenges for 2020.

Watkins said: “What we are trying to achieve with this member meeting is provide a general overview of some of the emerging trends – economic, EVs and autonomy – and give our members sufficient information to be able to identify where they will need to change their approach to the market and, hopefully, also be able to spot new opportunities to maximise.”

Key presentations will include Lee Swinerd, managing director at KPMG Advisory, on the post-Brexit economic outlook, including the impact on the automotive industry from a manufacturer, dealer, supply chain and remarketing perspective.

He will also examine upcoming trends including how ownership models and technology will determine the long-term future of the motor industry.

Jon Butler, partner at automotive law firm Geldards, will be providing an update on autonomous vehicles, issues covered will include insurance, different levels of autonomous vehicles, cyber-security, product liability and ownership of data.

Ade Thomas, chief sustainability officer at Green TV, will provide an explanation of the shift to e-mobility, looking at drivers including climate change, EU fines for CO2 emissions, political campaigning and company car benefit in taxation.

David Watts, consultant at Arval, will look at the impact of the Government’s recent 2035 announcement about ending petrol, diesel and hybrid production – ranging from how the transition is likely to take place, volumes of vehicles entering the market, changes in taxation, growth of charging and dealer infrastructure, and new vehicles entering the market.

A general overview of current new and used car and van market trends will be provided by Chris Plumb, senior valuations editor of Cap HPI. He will also look at how these areas are likely to develop over the next few months.

Watkins said: “We’re now regularly getting 40-50 members to our meetings and there is a definite sense of momentum surrounding the organisation at the moment as businesses across the remarketing sector aim to make sense of the proliferation of challenges that the current market presents. Our role is to help equip them to make better decisions.”

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