It seems that initial optimism may be giving way to reality. Nissan have laid off 1,200 workers today and startlingly didn’t even make any noises about asking the government for any financial assistance to see them through this turbulence. They even stated that even during factory closures – where workers were on reduced hours – it was still costing them £6m to do so and therefore, according to Nissan, not financially viable.
A company like Nissan which probably exports up to 35% of its British built cars to Europe were not able to negotiate their way around European markets which (with the exception of Italy) are falling at a faster rate than the UK. Europe as a whole is expected to be 30% down in sales in 2009 making the picture look bleaker and perhaps leading to other UK based car makers making more announcements.
We heard a whisper that Honda could be next, although at this stage it is just speculation, there is sure to be more bloodletting as the landscape of car building in the UK changes beyond all recognition as the manufacturers cater for a shrinking new car market. The only shred of comfort for consumers in this downturn is that we at least now have;
1) The lowest interest rates ever.
2) Gas prices still historically low even in this cold snap.
3) Petrol prices stable and as low as they have been for years.
4) Price wars in the supermarket ensuring a trolley full of shopping is much cheaper.
Add to this – as we have announced on numerous occasions – the fact that we are now experiencing the cheapest cars and the most competitive deals virtually ever seen is good news by anyone’s standards.
As we are only on this earth for a short time, everyday – with a bit of luck – a customer finds that they can actually now afford to buy that car they always dreamed of!