How Might the UK Auto Industry Change in 2021?


The UK car industry, like other industries all over the world, has been under strain over the last year. It has been estimated that new car sales have fallen by around 40% this January due to the national lockdown.

It is difficult to know if this trend is likely to reverse. Like other industries, the auto industry is in an uncertain time. But what may the next year hold? In this article, we will look at some of the possibilities.

What are the Issues the Industry is Facing?

The most obvious issue that the industry is facing is the current global pandemic and the lockdown restrictions that have been implemented as a result of it. With people prohibited from visiting places other than work, vehicles’ demand and the use of vehicles have unsurprisingly fallen significantly. Although the desire to avoid public transport for safety reasons has led to some sales of personal vehicles, overall, the industry has taken a hit due to this.

In addition to the current global pandemic, other factors affect the industry. The advent of self-driving cars is an interesting point, but this seems unlikely to affect much in the next year or so at the time of writing.

Although self-driving cars may not be a threat (or a boon!) to the industry just yet, electric vehicles (also known as EVs) are making waves in the industry. The desire for clean energy is likely to shift consumption of traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles to EVs, although how this will affect the auto industry’s profitability is uncertain at the moment.

How Can the Industry Face These Issues?

Of course, facing the challenge of the pandemic is largely beyond the capabilities of the auto industry and is largely dependent on the development of vaccines and decisions by the UK government.

However, other factors can be prepared for or even used to the industry’s advantage. For example, increased funding for electric vehicles and self-driving cars could signal the industry’s recovery path.

Bold new marketing directives could also capitalize on the changing landscape. When it comes to keeping operational costs down due to decreased revenue, car dealerships and factories may turn to sites like to cut costs on utility expenses. After all, markets are constantly changing, and any industry should be able to adapt to these changes.

How Could External Factors Change?

Of course, one factor that would hugely affect the industry (and almost all other industries) is the end of the national lockdown. Unfortunately, a timeframe on when this is likely to happen is still difficult to predict.


Ultimately, the automobile industry is highly unlikely to disappear at any time soon. How long it will take to return to normal is hard to predict, but what seems almost certain is that the demand for personal transport is unlikely ever to go away. Depending on when solutions are found for the pandemic, it is likely that the auto industry will be one of many industries to see a rapid and large resurgence.