Price, performance, practicality and design are factors potential buyers often take into consideration before buying a car, but in the vast global market, the origin of a vehicle hasn’t traditionally been something that contributes to the decision-making process for most buyers.

However, a recent survey by What Car? shows that this could be set to change, with car buyers reporting they are now more likely than ever to buy a car built in the UK as a way of supporting the industry’s efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges that have hit the sector hard over recent years.

What could be the advantages of buying a car made in the UK?

25% of buyers looking to purchase a car said they would be willing to choose British to support the industry. However, the research undertaken by What Car? also found that one in five drivers have no idea where their current car was manufactured.

One factor driving the increasing inclination to buy British is the hope that doing so will propel buyers up the long waiting lists that have arisen for cars globally as the worldwide industry continues to struggle with the semiconductor crisis resulting from the pandemic. However, over 45% of those surveyed also said they would be happy to wait longer for a British-made or British branded car. With lead times at Jaguar Land Rover currently standing at over 12 months, a long wait seems the more likely scenario.

A global challenge

With the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) data showing that UK car output is down 31% year-on-year, there is no denying that it’s a difficult time for the UK motor industry as a perfect storm of problems continue to bite following the pandemic. However, while there’s no doubt that buying British would be welcomed by the UK car industry, the post-pandemic downturn in the car industry is a global issue that will require a global solution.

Although car manufacturers across the world had hoped to be entering a post-pandemic period of recovery, the global industry is now grappling with supply chain issues caused by the combination of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, renewed Covid lockdowns in China and the semiconductor crisis. According to a new report by the Center of Automotive Research (CAR), in Germany, this means that a 5% contraction is now being forecast for worldwide sales of cars this year.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Although the German forecast is gloomy, it did also point to some good news for the car industry, finding that underlying demand is still strong, so in turn prices are also high, in a phenomenon that has also been very apparent in the market for second hand cars.

Consumers are also currently less fussy about the exact specifications of their next car, with availability being the most coveted quality at this time of shortage. So, while that may temporarily impact innovations within the automotive industry, it at least provides reassurance to car makers that the vehicles they are able to roll off the production line will be eagerly received by impatient consumers.

Innovating for a better future

While it will take time for the car industry to return to the levels of the record-breaking year of 2017, the combination of industry resilience and consumer demand means there is good reason to be optimistic about the future. Here at Interflex, we are continuing to provide cutting edge NVH solutions for the automotive industry and others, most recently with our new, sustainable and lightweight multi-use material, Ocean. To find out more, please call 01949 861 494 or email sales@interflex200.com.