Study Highlights Impact of Pandemic on Automotive Manufacture

Study Highlights Impact of Pandemic on Automotive Manufacture

Visit our Vehicle Guide central online toolbox

Study Highlights Impact of Pandemic on Automotive Manufacture

Study Reveals Material Shortages Add to Microchip Production Worries for Automotive 

Ok, so it’s been a couple of weeks since our last “microchip production issues” article. However, it seems that wider issues with other materials are impacting on vehicle production and pricing.

A recent collaborative study from automotive industry experts Cox Automotive and Grant Thornton has looked at the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the automotive industry. The issues surrounding material production features prominently.

The findings

As well as the well-documented issues with microchip production, there have also been issues in the supplies of materials such as steel and high raw material costs.

When combined, the automotive production industry has taken a battering, leading to reduction and even temporary pausing of production to allow the supply chain to catch up.

Impact on the Manufacturers

The one thing the report highlights is that whilst the issues are widespread, some manufacturers have faired better than others. Most manufacturers continue to make concessions to adjust to the market.

Just recently, Jaguar Land Rover warned that lead times for 53 model variants were now in excess of a YEAR!

Mercedes-Benz have removed specification features from some models from late June production until further notice in a bid to reduce delivery time delays.

Toyota have announced a 40% cut in worldwide production next month. Instead of  900,000 cars being produced in September, it will now product 540,000.

Impact on the Fleets

The research shows that demand levels have remained high – the issues purely lie around the supply.

For businesses out there – finding vehicles has been a real problem. In a recent Fleet News poll, 95% of respondents said they were experiencing vehicle delays.

The larger fleets were swallowing up huge swathes of the supply – particularly electric vehicles. This meant the smaller fleets were only becoming aware of the issues when they came to switch.

The knock-on impact of this has meant that both new and used car market prices have remained high due to the shortage of demand.

The Financials

Whilst many manufacturers had to take massive hits and go through extensive cost-cutting, this wasn’t the same across the board.

Tesla, General Motors, Kia & Toyota all managed to make profits in Q2 of last year – as the pandemic started taking hold.

Tesla held off closure of it’s Fremont plant as long as possible and then re-commenced production as quickly as possible.

The report also highlights how some companies such as Ford pivoted their focus to high-value vehicles such as SUV’s and Pick-ups. This helped them turn a $ DEFECIT in Q2 of last year turn into a $2.8bn profit in Q3.

Some manufacturers really struggled however.

Nissan experienced losses of a staggering $94bn and $153bn in Q1 and Q2 of 2020. The Japanese giants had been struggling in the US market before the Pandemic, but the Pandemic really compounded the problems.

However, cost-reductions meant that losses hadn’t been as bad as had been feared. Following further cost-cutting and vehicle volumes returning in Q3, Nissan returned to making a profit.

Honda & Mazda both experienced similar trends, with both returning to profitability in the second half of 2020.

Silver Lining?

What the report did hold up though is that whilst 2020 was almost unforgivingly tough, it was an extreme set of circumstances.

The knock-on impacts of material shortages at the moment will only be short-term – even if that is another 6-12 months.

Demand is still very much there, and once production levels do return to normal, the automotive industry is likely to be as buoyant as ever.

First EVC Logo


EV Chargepoint Specialists for the home or workplace.
Find out more....

Fleet Advisor ad
Fleeting Glance – The Fleet Stories From The Last Week – 12th July

Fleeting Glance – The Fleet Stories From The Last Week – 12th July

Elegant Themes Ad

Fleeting Glance – The Fleet Stories From The Last Week – 12th July

As always, the ever-changing world of fleet vehicles throws up a mix of good, worrying, exciting and eye-catching.

This week sees BMW, VW and Daimler in the news again, but for all the wrong reasons, but there’s plenty of good news in here too – especially for Vauxhall.

So here is our weekly round-up of the things that have caught our eye this past week.

500th EDF Employee Has Electric Vehicle Funded Through Their Salary Sacrifice Scheme.

We start this week with the news that energy company EDF has seen it’s 500th electric vehicle funded through it’s Salary Sacrifice Scheme.

Employee Jas Sangha took delivery of a new Kia e-Niro as the scheme company’s scheme uptake continues to rise.

Perhaps most pertinently is that more and more eligible EDF employees are signing up each month – with 93% of them are opting for pure electric vehicles.

Staff at EDF have been reporting savings of around £150-200 PER MONTH – largely thanks to the 1% BIK rate available on the scheme. The company also provide 20 charge points at their sites across the UK – with a further 300 to be made available to employees by December.

If your company haven’t looked at Salary Sacrifice Schemes then there are definite benefits for all concerned.

To speak to one of our Salary Sacrifice Scheme specialists, feel free to drop us a line at the end of this article.

Stellantis Plan for Vauxhall to be “All-Electric” by 2028 as part of huge electrification scheme.

Super-automotive group Stellantis has outlined plans for a $25bn electrification programme – part of which will see Vauxhall be an “all-electric” brand by 2028.

Also, as part of the extensive scheme the group – which owns 14 major brands including Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, DS, Fiat, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati & Peugeot under it’s umbrella – also plans to install 5 battery factories across North America and Europe, with a view to reducing battery costs by as much as 60%.

In terms of vehicle production, there are four platforms forming the backbone of all the Stellantis brands.

As well as the small, medium and large car platforms, perhaps the most interesting development is the platform being specifically developed for commercial vehicles such as vans and pickups.

New EU Rules Will Make EV Cars more Profitable Than Petrol – VW Executive.

New EU regulations due to come in force in 2025 are set to make electric cars more profitable than their petrol counterparts – marking a landmark moment for the automotive industry according to Thomas Ulbrich – head of development for the VW brand.

The regulations which will see new engine standards – called Euro 7 – will pose serious challenges to manufacturers, meaning expensive emission reduction equipment will be needed to ensure compliance.

Ulbrich recently told the Financial Times;

“If you now ask when is the point for [profits] becoming equal to an internal combustion engine, you know that with Euro 7 there are tremendous challenges for the internal combustion engine world,”

Of course, the implication here is that currently there are more profits in petrol car sales than electric vehicle.

The knock-on effects of the changes could see the speeding up of investment into EV technology. In reality, the spend on EV infrastructure is already ramping up.

But whilst petrol/diesel vehicles sales have to stop by 2030, the reality is there is a definite push to make the switch much sooner – and that is being forced on consumer and manufacturer alike.

Westminster Could Face Imposed 20mph Speed Limit

For those of you who have been stuck in rush traffic in London, 20mph might even seem a tad ambitious! However, TfL (Transport for London) are looking into introducing a 20mph speed limit on near enough all of its roads in Westminster.

The news comes after TfL introduced 20mph speed limits within the Central London Congestion Zone in March last year.

The latest proposals come alongside a series of other measures to help ‘reduce speeds and danger to vulnerable road users’.

With the proposal, suggestions are;

    • A reduced 20mph speed limit on 13km of roads within the borough, including on Marylebone Road, Vauxhall Bridge Road and Edgware Road between the A40 and St. John’s Wood Road.
    • Raised tables at six existing pedestrian crossings locations on roads with newly lowered speed limits to reduce danger to people walking and increase compliance with the new speed limit.
    • New road signs throughout to ensure that all drivers are fully aware of the new speed limit
    • Recalibrating speed cameras in the area to ensure compliance with the new speed limits.

Fleet operators are being encouraged to share their views on the proposal – which you can by visiting

Again though, these proposals are firmly inline with major cities becoming less and less vehicle friendly.

Balancing safety and the environment with the physical need to transport people and move goods in and out of major towns and cities is an on-going concern – and in reality is only really going to go one way – however, that doesn’t stop the impact being felt the most on smaller businesses and fleets who are left to come up with and pay for the solutions.

Tesla Drivers Spend An Average of £47 a Month Charging Their Cars

running costs of Tesla shows more positives for Electric cars

Our recent article looked at a survey on Tesla compiled by Whilst it looked in great detail at the performance of Tesla’s cars against other EVs and petrol/diesel cars, it seemed a little light on the running costs – but there’s good news here for the Californian Car Giant too.

EEVEE Mobility has recorded data from users of its app and discovered that the monthly cost of charging a Tesla costs less than a tank of petrol!

How does this comparison translate though?

Well, the data revealed the average number of miles travelled by users was 707 miles. With an average fuel price of £1.30 per litre and average fuel economy of 55mpg, the cost in a petrol car would be £75. In a Tesla – for the same distance – it was just £47.

What is perhaps most interesting about this data study is that assumptions about EV use being cheaper can now actually start to be backed up with cold, hard facts.

The trick now of course is in bringing the cost of purchasing Electric Vehicles down.

VW Group & BMW Fined Over Emissions “Collusion”

Another week and another ‘manufacturer fined for emissions figures’ story emerges. This one is a little different though as it’s the news that several manufacturers “colluded” to not clean up their cars as much as they could have.

The rather bizarre news sees VW Group (which includes the VW, Porsche and Audi brands) and BMW fined £751m colluding for colluding with Daimler in relation to the companies agreeing between them to make the bear minimum use of the AdBlue System – a cleaning treatment for harmful nitrogen oxide emissions – to meet EU standards.

They also shared commercially sensitive information with one another.

Daimler managed to avoid a fine, having brought the collusion to light.

VW are contesting the decision as they say that the contents of the discussions were never implemented. However, it’s certainly not the first time the big car manufacturers have been accused of not playing fair over vehicle emissions.

Since the first big “emissions scandal” emerged back in 2015 with VW, countless stories and charges have been levied in relation to emissions on the big manufacturers. There is very little trust as it is in car manufacturers to clean up cars.

That this article will come as little surprise to anyone is probably the biggest indication of how little the industry is trusted.

And finally…

New Vauxhall Grandland Orders Being Taken

It’s been an excellent week for Vauxhall. Last week, Stellantis announed that Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant is to remain open – concentrating on producing all-electric vans and passenger cars for Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen.

Shortly after this, Vauxhall then announced they are taking orders for their facelifted SUV the Vauxhall Grandland.

Featuring a front-end that matches the recently launched “Mokka”, the new Grandland arrives in the autumn to compete with the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage.

Models start from £25,500 – although perhaps more interestingly for fleet operators, Vauxhall has dropped the price of the hybrid plug-in model by £6000 to £34,365. With CO2 emissions from 31 g/km, a zero-emission range of 34 miles the 225ps model comes within the 11% BIK bracket.

We will be reviewing the Grandland and comparing it to it’s rivals soon – but it’s great to end the week with more good news following on from Nissan’s announcement about their Sunderland plant recently too.

If you have any questions about how any of these news features could impact on your business please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment at the bottom of the article.


Contact Us

11 + 12 =

First EVC Logo


EV Chargepoint Specialists for the home or workplace.
Find out more....

Fleet Advisor ad

Tesla Cars – Are They Really “All That”?

Tesla Cars – Are They Really “All That”?

Elegant Themes Ad

Tesla Cars – Are They Really “All That”?

In-Depth Study Shows Why Tesla Are Seen As Market Leaders

If this was Family Fortunes and 100 people were surveyed and asked to “name an electric car” – we would wager the top answer would be a Tesla.

Over the last decade, the Californian company seem to have become synonymous with electric cars. Of course – as anyone who follows the exploits of their relentless CEO, Elon Musk, would testify – electric cars is just one of their many facets.

And yet Musk epitomises everything Tesla are about. Pushing boundaries, setting new parameters, and basically leaving their competitors trailing by always being 3 or 4 steps ahead. Whatever they turn their hand too – they are leaders.

At least this is the perception.

Does the reality match the perception though?

Well one company decided to take on the task and carry out an in-depth analysis into Tesla’s electric cars. We take a look at what they found.

The Research

It’s a mammoth task, but the sort of thing we love – and Cararac do too by the looks of it.

The research provides in-depth comparative analysis into various aspects of Tesla car performance compared to other EVs and Petrol/Diesel cars.

From driving range to energy consumption and many other power and performance stats such as Torque and Acceleration. It is pretty much the Tesla Bible.

In the research, in all, they analyzed 214 electric vehicles and here’s what they learnt in full.

The Results

On looking through the research there are several standout points that leap forward. Here’s what the main takeaway points are from the research.

Takeaway 1

Modern Tesla cars have 23.4% more power than the company’s first vehicles. 

In isolation this stat in its own right might not sound much – but it’s huge when you consider what it means in real terms. 

Firstly, adding almost a quarter more power to its vehicles over a decade shows considerable on-going improvement – that willingness to never settle and always be pushing its boundaries.

But equally importantly, it also shows they started off from quite a high base. They were getting a lot of things right from the very beginning.

Takeaway 2

Tesla EVs are 156.8% more powerful than the average petrol/diesel car.

One of the most interesting – and perhaps most surprising – aspects of the research is how the average Tesla model and average petrol /diesel car power stats compare. 

The average Horsepower for Tesla models is a whopping 446hp.  The average for petrol/diesel cars is just 173hp.

Takeaway 3

The average driving range of a Tesla car is 293 miles (471.1 km).

As always – when it comes to range, mileage can be affected by weather, weight being carried etc… but what you can see with this is that Tesla cars give you a lot of range for the level of performance.

The range varies across Tesla models from 190 miles to an impressive 603 miles – a figure many EV manufacturers have yet to achieve.

What was interesting here was that the newer vehicles offer more range and greater spec, but have larger batteries (almost doubling in size) and more weight. The batteries are just that much better – and will continue to be so as time moves on.

Takeaway 4

On average, Tesla vehicles accelerate 118.9% faster than ICE cars.

One of the main things that leapt out from the report was just how many things Tesla vehicles out-perform petrol/diesel cars.

This one though is pretty impressive.

The fastest Tesla – the Roadster 2 Gen – can reach 60mph in 1.9s, which is basically the time it takes to sneeze.

The slowest – the Cybertruck Single Motor – takes 6.5 seconds, which is far from sluggish. Infact, it puts it alongside the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric – which also takes 6.5 seconds and a smidgeon behind the BMW i3 at 6.4 seconds.

In Summary

There is lots more interesting facts in the article and it really is a good read. If I was to be picky – and I’m generally not, but for the sake of it – then perhaps a section on cost comparisons would have been the icing on the cake – but not all cakes need icing.

This article provides a reminder at just how prominent Tesla are in the EV marketplace. They are deemed to be the “Godfathers” if you like – and when the evidence is presented in such a comprehensive way – it’s completely justified. 

If you want to know more about Tesla cars and what they are capable of, go and have a read.


Fleet Advisor ad

Pin It on Pinterest