Post-Brexit outlook, autonomy and 2035 EV impact are key subjects for VRA’s March member meeting

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The post-Brexit economic outlook, developments in vehicle autonomy and the impact of the Government’s 2035 electric vehicle announcement will all be part of the Vehicle Remarketing Association’s next member meeting, taking place on March 18 at the offices of motor industry legal specialists Geldard’s in Derby.

Sam Watkins, chair of the VRA, which represents organisations that process 1.5m used cars and vans every year, said: “The old Chinese proverb about ‘May you live in interesting times’ seems to sum up the motor industry at the moment. There is so much change taking place against an economic backdrop that remains uncertain – despite a strong start to the year.

“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-election, 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.

Providing an update on autonomous vehicles will be Jon Butler, partner at Geldards, showing how with, the Automated and EV Act 2018, the UK is ahead of the curve in this important and emerging area of technology. Issues covered will include insurance, different levels of autonomous vehicles, cyber-security, product liability and ownership of data.

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

David Watts, consultant at Arval UK, will look at the practical 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.

Finally, 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, who will also take a look at how these areas are likely to develop over the next few months.

Sam added that the resurgence of the VRA was continuing apace, following its highly successful seminar in November, which was attended by almost 200 delegates.

“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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