Business Review of the Year 2018

By Gill Harris on 24 December, 2018

From GDPR to Brexit, 2018 has certainly produced its fair share of challenges in the business world. But happily, it’s also been a time of successes in the South West. We spoke to businesses across a range of sectors to find out how 2018 went for them… and what they are (and aren’t) looking forward to in 2019.

Today we interview Dom Threlfall, managing director of Swindon-based motor dealer, Pebley Beach. Pebley specialise in the Hyundai and Suzuki brands.

How was 2018? 

The first half of the year we had lots of new models come out, with manufacturers going more along the environmental line, with more EV vehicles. Interest rates going up had an adverse effect because lease plans and purchase plans have gone up as a result. Likewise, the currency market being like it is, cars are a bit more expensive in the UK. In August, we had the new regulation, WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure). We’re very fortunate with Hyundai, we never run out of stock, but my colleagues at Volkswagen and Audi and places like that pretty much have no cars to sell until January, which is a big industry problem at the moment. From a customer’s point of view there’s loads of great cars and there’s been some really good deals around on new cars and nearly new, low mileage cars – arguably it’s the best time to go and buy a car at the moment. 

Looking ahead to 2019…

Looking at the currency market the predictions are they’re not going to change massively despite Brexit so that’s good news. But we don’t know what tariffs are going to be placed on cars but for the likes of Germany, the UK is a massive market, possibly the second largest in Europe, so German manufacturers are not going to want to stop selling cars in the UK. So some sort of deal’s going to have to happen.

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