More than seven out of 10 car dealers (71%) say that not enough is being done to support the UK motor industry’s transition to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.

March’s Startline Used Car Tracker shows that 50% believe that the blame lies with the government and 7% with motor manufacturers.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Electrification is the single biggest change to motor manufacturing that any of us are likely to see in our lifetimes and is having a fundamental effect on how and where manufacturers make cars.

“Motor manufacturing remains a cornerstone of the UK economy but there is clearly a general perception among dealers that not enough is being done to ensure that we preserve the base that we have, never mind look to expand it.

“Brexit is clearly an issue here, having made the UK simply a more difficult place for major manufacturers to make vehicles, but there also appears to be little in the way of an industrial strategy to convince car makers that this remains a great place to have factories.

“If you look across our volume manufacturing base, only Nissan and Stellantis have fully committed to making electric vehicles here while bad news isn’t difficult to find, notably with the recent loss of Ford research and development jobs.”

The key issue, say 40% of dealers, is that not enough battery manufacturing capacity is being created while 31% report that sufficient consumer demand for EVs just doesn’t yet exist.

Burgess added: “Having battery gigafactories is going to be essential for local EV manufacturing and the BritishVolt situation has done little to convince sceptical dealers that enough is being done to create the UK supply that car makers would need.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 306 consumers and 62 dealers were questioned.

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