The European fall in car sales

Some in government wrongly worry that Brexit could damage our car industry. Latest sales figures show there is plenty of damage being done by EU regulations, UK taxes and a credit squeeze before we leave. Why doesn’t any of this worry them? Why don’t they do something to stop it?


  1. Lifelogic
    December 21, 2018

    Indeed, daft green crap regulations pushing new pemature technology into the market early is hugely damaging. Plus daft over regulation of bank lending and absurdly high taxation of cars. Who wants to buy a new car if the old one is rather better and rather cheaper too run other than to show off perhaps. Also why buy a new one if it might soon be banned or taxed off the roads or out of cities.

    Hammond is damaging the property market and property industry in the same way with massive over taxation, 15% purchase taxes, OTT green crap building regs, lending restrictions, taxes on profits not even made, endless other red tape …. Cars and homes are important for people and the economy get out of the damn way Hammond you economic illiterate, grim reaper, retainer of Carney and chief architect of project fear, to run the UK confidence down.

    1. NickC
      December 21, 2018

      Lifelogic, Yes, it is very strange – most governments talk up the economy and (over) boast about how well they are doing. Hammond gloats about how badly he expects he will do if we ever became independent. It’s a sort of reverse job application – employ me and I’ll crash the economy.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      December 21, 2018

      Dear Lifelogic–Did anyone ever work out how it could even be possible for a foreigner to be made Governer of the Bank of England?

      1. Leslie Singleton
        December 22, 2018

        Eeeeek–Governor of course

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    December 21, 2018

    We all know who in government is responsible for this and we know Brexit will be blamed. Taxes and indecision from Parliament is at fault.

    1. NickC
      December 21, 2018

      Fedupsoutherner, It’s not government indecision. We made the decision to Leave the EU. The government is trying to overthrow our decision. Since most of the HoC is Remain, they will probably succeed. The ensuing constitutional chaos of failing to Leave will make the threatened Brexit chaos look like a vicar’s tea party.

      1. Gary C
        December 21, 2018

        Indeed, the thumbprint is deep in the head of the UK.

  3. Original Richard
    December 21, 2018

    Whatever damage the EU can do to the UK when it is outside of the EU it is nothing compared to the damage the EU can do the UK when inside the EU and thus subject to all the directives, rules and regulations covering taxation, trade, budgetary contributions, immigration, welfare, energy, environmental and foreign policies etc. all decided by persons we do not know, did not elect and cannot remove.

    The EU’s asymmetric and unfair Withdrawal Agreement is just as bad as it would leave us totally exposed to the whims of the EU elites with no say at all and no exit date.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 21, 2018


  4. ChrisS
    December 21, 2018

    The damage to UK car sales is entirely the responsibility of the British Government, it is nothing to do with Brexit or the EU.

    Firstly, the Government is frightened to give a lead and tell buyers what type of cars they want them to drive. Naturally they would say electric cars to bolster their green credentials but they know only too well that for at least the next seven to ten years electric cars are completely impractical for the vast majority of buyers owing to a lack of range, lack of charging points and high prices.

    Secondly. Buyers are increasingly wary because governments have successively used the VED regime to greatly increase costs on diesel and petrol vehicles to demonstrate their displeasure with one type of engine or another. Without a lead from Government, many potential buyers, like myself, are sticking with their existing higher polluting cars.

    Thirdly, Osborne and now Hammond have milked VED for all its worth and the current regime is truly penal for any car with a RRP of more than £40,000.

    Either the Government, and especially the Treasury, don’t care about the future of UK car manufacturing, or they have been spectacularly inept to have reduced sales by so much at a time when a healthy manufacturing sector is absolutely vital. We are already seeing that their policies are having a direct impact on jobs.

    Hammond should cut VED on new cars to reflect the fact that current models produce very low levels of pollution and the penal rates for the first five years should be done away with altogether. The extra VAT will be ten-twenty times the amount lost on VED.

    The Government should give a lead by being realistic and telling us which fuel they would like to see in new vehicles produced in the next 20 years. They can’t bind future Governments, of course, but they could say that as long as the Conservative Party remains in power, they will not increase VED from the new lower levels by more than inflation.

    Without these changes in policy, I can’t see a revival in car sales anytime soon and that is hitting the Chancellor’s VAT receipts very hard indeed.

  5. Denis Cooper
    December 21, 2018

    The economic importance of the UK car industry by the statistics given here:

    But that is in absolute terms, and what is lacking is the wider perspective; for example, the £20.2 billion value added in 2017 would be about 1% of UK GDP, and the 856,000 people employed would form about 2.7% of the 32.2 million UK workers, and in 2017 about 87% of the new cars registered in the UK were imported.

    Clearly the government must be alert to the needs of this industry, but should Theresa May have decided to give their needs such high priority that 100% of our economy and businesses and citizens must remain under swathes of EU law in perpetuity?

    And should she use the fabricated threat of a ‘hard border’ somehow ‘re-emerging’ on the island of Ireland as a pretext for doing that?

    1. NickC
      December 21, 2018

      Denis Cooper, Of course she shouldn’t. But Theresa May is a Remain in Remain clothing implementing a Remain outcome with the help of the Remains in the HoC.

      1. Sir Joe Soap
        December 21, 2018

        Doesn’t work in a Leave country. In the end the people will succeed.

  6. jerry
    December 21, 2018

    Indeed, if Govt wants to help the motor industry it need to start scrapping some of the more daft eco-worrier polices that are obviously just designed to be thinly disguised cash-cows.

  7. Bryan Harris
    December 21, 2018

    This self-harm is purely to create the impression that Brexit is bad for us in oh so many ways… but yes, you have to ask why a UK government would allow this situation to continue that does us harm….

    Is the government really working against the best interests of the country?

    1. NickC
      December 21, 2018

      Bryan Harris, Need you ask? They can’t let the economy do well under Brexit. That’s why Mark Carney halved the BoE rate in August 2016 even though it was totally unnecessary. The government deliberately makes electricity expensive; now they’re making cars more expensive too. And announcing that the sale of new IC engined cars will be banned from 2040 is similarly uneducated nonsense.

  8. Alan Jutson
    December 21, 2018

    They do not want to do anything about it because they are wedded to the idea of Higher tax rates, and Climate change.

    Just wait until the Mayor of Londons proposed expansion plan for the emissions Zone takes place, and other cites/Towns follow his lead.

    Not only will business suffer the effect, but people already living within those Zones will be penalised on a daily basis.

    1. Turboterrier.
      December 21, 2018

      @ Alan Jutson

      They do not want to do anything about it because they are wedded to the idea of Higher tax rates, and Climate change.

      Committee on Climate Change (CCC) reckoned that it would only cost 1–2% of GDP – assuming rational policies. But, as last year’s Helm review on energy costs shows, ‘rational’ is not a word that remotely describes the melange of current policies, which, Helm says, perpetuates ‘the unnecessary high costs of the British energy system.’

      It begs the question why did they commission him to do the repor in the first place?

  9. turboterrier
    December 21, 2018

    Regarding the impact of UK taxes it is due to the perceived mentality of the majority of the politicians that these taxes are more an envy tax.

    All those people buying top of the range models have already more than paid their share of higher taxes in their wages or in the case of business in their corporate taxation liabilities.

    As with higher wage earners they are not the critical mass, in actual numbers they are a very small percentage of the total sales. In our manic non thought out actions in giving all the tax breaks for electric vehicles for example. These vehicles still have an impact on the big picture in road use, less servicing required and replacement components.

    Politicians seem unable to apply cause and effect processes prior to making knee jerk decisions which are actually detrimental to the output of the country .

  10. Al
    December 21, 2018

    I would have more respect for Remain if instead of just saying “we know the EU is not perfect…”, they did something about the problems e.g. campaign to change broken rules, for lower pay, and against the corruption.

    However it is surprisingly hard to get people to admit the EU can cause harm, and harder to get them to admit the harm matters. See what happened when the fishermen complained about the CFP.

    This is the same concern showed about the effects of EUVAT, and about the upcoming Article11 and Article13. In these cases the people hurt are mainly those on low incomes, or who cannot get other work due to circumstances or disability, so don’t seem to have a voice many politicians listen to.

    1. John Hatfield
      December 21, 2018

      Absolutely Al, each remain supporting MP should be required to give his reasons for doing so.

      1. Al
        December 22, 2018

        I had a fascinating chat yesterday with someone trying to win me over to a People’s Vote. The second I mentioned EUVAT and its effects, they asked who really cared about small businesses?

        As 4.3 Million people are employed by owner-only firms, I think quite a few, and that this is really not a good way to drum up support.

  11. Newmania
    December 21, 2018

    Credit squeeze ….oh you will have your little joke Mr Redwood . Hardly a squeeze although one appreciate you want every tap turned up to 11 . The fact of over capacity in the European car market makes it especially unwelcome in that you should be reducing the competitiveness of the UK which will now be the worst place in Europe from which to face the EU motor market

    Fine work , really admirable !

    1. John Hatfield
      December 21, 2018

      Credit squeeze. A blizzard of weak economic data from across the world has begun to infect global confidence, indicating that surging loan costs and monetary tightening by major central banks are inflicting damage. Are you denying that that’s what’s happening? Do pay attention Newmania.

    2. libertarian
      December 22, 2018

      Newmania ( Margaret Howard, Helena, Tabularosa, Andy )

      Some news just in from Germany

      Study for Munich Chamber of Commerce says no deal #Brexit would cost Bavarian economy €1.4bn a year and that #Brexit weakens the EU internationally.

      Chief Economist of Germany’s biggest bank on #nodealBrexit: “The UK will do just as well or better… the UK economy has it in its genes to do well, to be innovative, it doesn’t have this bureaucratic construct that the Europeans struggle with and it’s got flexible exchange rates!”

      News from France

      Xavier Bertrand, president of the Northern Hauts-de-France region The president of the French region closest to the UK has warned that a no-deal Brexit would bring much of northern Europe to its knees, he called for more help from both Brussels and Paris to deal with the risk.

  12. Alison
    December 21, 2018

    Recession world-wide looks as if it is coming. I think that this possibility, and the reasons for it (which are NOT Brexit) are communicated to the wider public.
    Otherwise the public will blame Brexit.
    The public will be much better equipped to face any downturn if it knows more about it.

    I believe Dominic Raab has suggested that there should be government support for the UK car industry, if there are difficulties in the months after we leave the EU (if we do). THat seems very sensible – and I think our shellfish and fishing businesses will have severe difficulties too. Forward thinking about the latter would be helpful in many respects up here in Scotland.

    Car factories employ large numbers in one place, so the damage ripples out immediately to local suppliers, so support measures should have much wider impact.

  13. Mark B
    December 21, 2018

    Good morning.

    Why don’t they do something to stop it?

    What, like repeal the Climate Change Act ? Doubt it !

  14. Roy Grainger
    December 21, 2018

    Because they are not bothered about the car industry, they are interested in overturning Brexit, the car industry is just the latest proxy for that argument. Not sure why the left/liberals aren’t celebrating the fall in car sales anyway, to combat global warming/climate change/climate disruption. They are conflicted on things like this – for example they are still complaining that Margaret Thatcher closed coal mines despite the fact they regard coal as a very very bad thing – they should be celebrating Thatcher as visionary.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      December 21, 2018

      Roy. It’s all pretty pathetic and a load of nonsense but rakes in money for the government. NGO’s have a lot to answer for and why government listens to them is beyond me. The whole climate change scam is a money making exercise and we are being bled dry.

      1. John Hatfield
        December 21, 2018

        Just like EU membership, FUS.

  15. Peter
    December 21, 2018

    People are skint and people are worried about legislation on diesel motor cars. Congestion charges and parking issues add to that for those living in large cities.

    So it is no wonder car sales suffer.

  16. Zorro
    December 21, 2018

    Indeed, the facts show that our car industry took a blow from EU entry in the 1970s and in recent times, government policy (whilst we are in the EU) appears to have been designed to crash the car industry as well. So no need to blame Brexit for trashing the car industry, they are doing a perfectly good job now with their misguided pseudo scientific reasons!!


  17. agricola
    December 21, 2018

    Infinitely more relevant is the drone drama at Gatwick. A H o C full of lawyers seem to think that the law answers all problems, it does not. We now realise that although electronic countermeasures have existed for some time they are absent from our airports. Parliament has failed to listen to BALPA who find themselves on the recieving end of their negligence. How long before a drone arrives in Palace Yard or down the chimney at No 10 with a kilo of Semtex strapped to. Do not kid yourself that ISIS have not thought it through.
    A second aspect of current freedoms is intrusion into privacy. Do you want one filming your next garden party.
    Personally I would confine drones to licenced professional use, in a similar way to which firearms are controlled. They have their uses in many professional situations, the positive side but in the hands of terrorists, nutters with a grudge, and children you are asking for ultimate serious trouble.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      December 21, 2018

      Agree Agricola. Drones are a menace in the wrong hands. My neighbour found that someone was flying a drone close to his childrens bedroom. I do not want someone flying a drone in my garden watching everything I do. They are a bloody nuisance and something we can do without unless it’s, as you say, for professional use. Terrorism could get even worse with these things and I’m surprised they haven’t been used yet.

    2. Alison
      December 21, 2018

      Surely Gatwick aand other airports do a regular risk analysis, identifies the risk of drones stopping flights, works out how to stop the drones, costs that, etc etc. Surely?

    3. Richard1
      December 21, 2018

      Agreed, drones should be available only under license and after a training course. Drones must be banned from within at least a mile of sensitive installations such as airports. We must ask our Israeli friends to help us achieve a proper response so any rogue drone can be taken out. 5 years mandatory gaol for offences such as this. If there are organisations behind it then they must pick up the costs – paying for everyone’s holidays the airlines loss of business etc. It’ll most likely turn out to be some kind of environmental leftist protest. There’ll be nothing like bankruptcy and a few years in the clink to teach these self righteous zealots a lesson once they are hunted down.

      1. The Prangwizard
        December 22, 2018

        We must solve this problem ourselves. We must get out of the habit of seeking help from others who have been self reliant. Why do we imagine that others will wish to give us the benefit of all their hard work anyway. What is so special about us anyway? If we wish to be an independent country we should act and think like one to restore self respect. We must stop running to ‘mummy’.

    4. John Hatfield
      December 21, 2018

      ‘or down the chimney at No 10 with a kilo of Semtex strapped to it.’
      Behave yourself getahead.

  18. Mick
    December 21, 2018

    The only people worried about loss of car sales is the Germans /French/Italians if we leave on no deal, we will just have to build our own car industry back up with not so much intervention by the wreaking unions of the past
    More blackmailing to keep us in the Eu , these pro European mps should be named and shamed so there constituents know who they are and we’re there loyalty lay

    1. Cerberus
      December 21, 2018

      Cheaper Japanese cars post-Brexit if we drop EU tariffs. Competition will benefit UK consumer.

    2. Gobshitery
      December 21, 2018

      Don’t worry Mick, we’ll be out soon enough, out faster than two shakes of a lambs tail..and so what will we have to whinge about then? The EU crowd will be only too delighted to see the back of us.. i remember all of the industrial strikes back in the sixties, it was then known all over the world as the English sickness, and still today in Australia the Brits are referred to as the ‘whinging poms’ still since the mid 1800’s, and nothing has changed, now that we have disgraced ourselves again, just look at the carry on in parliament, so as far as the EU is concerned- let’s not delude ourselves- out we go

      1. Maybot
        December 21, 2018

        We’ve seen quite a few Aussies blubbing since then.

    3. jerry
      December 21, 2018

      @Mick; It was bad management in the past that wrecked the UK car industry, as I have pointed out before, with factual historical examples of the errors made. Bad design and marketing is not the fault of militant trade unions, how ever much you wish it was.

      1. a-tracy
        December 21, 2018

        Jerry, wasn’t the rover 200 series very successful and making serious inroads into the family car and company car market. The mini was also a good design and marketed well. The MG was also a lovely design and a desireable car.

        1. jerry
          December 21, 2018

          @a-tracy; If you are talking about the Rover 200 that was a model, based on a Honda floorpan (chassis), from the 1980s. The (original) Mini was a BMC design from the late 1950s that remained fundamentally unchanged through out its life! What MG are you thinking about, the BMC designed ones of the 1960s and earlier or the post BL(MC) designs of the 1980s and beyond?

          Try thinking about how good/bad the (breed & butter, high mass market sales) Austin Allegro, Austin Princess, Morris Marina or the Austin Maxi of the 1970s were by comparison. I could write far more but I’ll take pity on our host at this point!

          1. NickC
            December 22, 2018

            Jerry, I ran an Austin Allegro estate for many years. It was a fine, economical, reliable car, light years ahead of the Ford Escort and Vauxhall Viva.

            It was the government that killed the British owned motor industry with the stop-go policy of unstable hp costs, and political interference by nationalisation.

          2. jerry
            December 22, 2018

            @NickC, I worked on the Austin Allegro, or “All-agro” as the trade knew them by, under developed & poorly marketed. The early versions of the Allegro had an under developed bodyshell, if they were jacked up other than at the jacking points (such as suspension mounting points, normally quite acceptable) the windscreens could come out – was your car one of those that had that square steering wheel…

            When the Allegro was announced in May 1973, such was the slating of the car by the motoring press orders for its predecessor, the ADO16 (Austin 1100/1300) range, increased. 1974 becoming a record year for production of the AD16 model!

            Another fail was the Rover SDI, whilst a good car in its self it was no match for the older Rover P6, many buyers went off and bought non British executive cars (Mercs, BMW’s etc) as replacements when they replaced their P6, whilst others simply kept their P6’s longer, meaning BL still lost sales.

            As for nationalisation, a lot of people think that happened in the late 1960s, untrue, BLMC was a private and listed merger, nationalisation happened in 1975. Had it not been it is likely the company would have been wound up at some point in the late 1970s or sold, as a whole or broken up, to either US or European automotive companies. You should read up on the “Ryder Report” before you try slagging off govts and trade unions.

          3. a-tracy
            December 22, 2018

            The cars I’d be aware of were in the late 70’s and 80’sall my friends wanted an MG but usually settled for a cheap to run mini and fixed them themselves, my Mum had a Marina basic but no big problems. My Dad told me Red Robbo stuffed up the British motor industry, he was a factory fitter and one of his favourite motors was a Rover 214 that he ran for about 15 years.

          4. jerry
            December 22, 2018

            @a-tracy; The Marina was not a bad car in isolation but was seen as a poor replacement for the Morris Minor and was never seen as a replacement for the A60 Cambridge/Oxford model range. Nor was it up to the competition in the class BLMC put it in, thus BLMC lost sales, including the fleet buyer – many moving to Ford, buying either the Escort or Cortina.

            You mention Derek Robinson -who actually wanted BL to be a success, for political propaganda reasons- but what about the failings of the Roots/Chrysler UK group and later the Talbot branding used by the PSA group in the 1980s, ‘Red Robo’ had little if anything to do with the failings of those companies. Did you ever own or drive a Hillman Imp, or the Chrysler Alpine, both cars where rushed to mass-market with incomplete R&D, resulting in poor long term quality (faults not connected with build but by quality of design).

            France had and still has even more militant trade unions than were ever found in the UK, much of their motor industry was also nationalised, but just look at how they dominate the European car/van markets – ask yourself why…

            Reply At the time we entered the EEC domestic cars had a high share of our market, and were competitive against the 2CV, Beetle and other mass market Franco German products given the then trade rules.

          5. jerry
            December 23, 2018

            @JR reply; That doesn’t explain how Datsun and other Japanese car companies were already making significant inroads into the UK market by early 1972, even if the UK had started to take a softer approach to allowing imports of western European cars into the UK. Nor does it explain the popularity of UK made Ford and Vauxhall’s (despite the latter’s well known ‘rust’ problems), here in the UK, but then both were owned by US parent companies with excellent R&D and in-house styling studios.

            Sorry but the troubles with the UK car industry were far more home grown and seated in boardrooms, sitting on their past won laurels for to long resulting in make-do (and even mend, rather than going back to the drawing board) attitudes, with product development cut short, up-dates and new projects scrapped galore. How long did it take the much of UK car industry to realise that a factory fitted radio should be standard – indeed some cars were still being designed/face-lifted without even the provision for a radio well into the 1970s!

            Reply The UK based industry was strong when we first joined the EEC, and collapsed during our first decade of membership. The Ford Cortina was the leading popular product, with the Mini and the Escort also good sellers. Ford had more than 30% market share with all domestic production.

          6. libertarian
            December 23, 2018


            I bought a Hillman Imp the week after passing my test. I drove it from Slough to Kent. It broke down/overheated 4 times on the journey home.

            Its the most atrocious car I ever owned . I binned it an bought first an Escort, great car then a mini which was brilliant fun

          7. jerry
            December 23, 2018

            @JR reply; Ford and Vauxhall (plus a revived JLR) are still going strong here in the UK, that proves joining the EEC did not cause the ‘ruination’ of the UK motor industry. When the UK makes the correct product, even at an inflated price point, we are still world beaters even as members of the EU. Poor products come out of bad decisions made at accounts and boardroom level.

            Also if membership of the EU is so problematic to the health of a UK located car industry why have Toyota, Honda, Nissan + others invested so much in the UK since the 1980s, with many (but admittedly not all) of the products being made for either the UK or EU27 domestic markets.

            Reply The domestic producers inc Ford suffered a big loss of market share in our first decade in the EU. Ford has now during our time in the EU located all vehicle manufacture outside the UK, often benefitting form EU grants or other encouragement

          8. jerry
            December 23, 2018

            @JR reply; “Ford suffered a big loss of market share in our first decade in the EU.”

            As did much of the West’s motor industry, both here in the UK, in Continental Europe and the USA/Canada, as they dealt with the marketing problems that came with the “oil shock” from October ’73 [1], having to adjust their model ranges to suit the new MPG conscious market conditions and then the wider economic problems of the 1970s.

            As for Ford relocating production, swings and roundabouts there, yes Ford might have relocated but then in our 40+ years of EEC/EU membership other car companies have located to the UK – often using UK development intensives and our links to Continental Europe, both physical and political.

            [1] just 10 months after the UK joined the EEC, rather convenient for those looking at historic statistics, wanting to find fault with the EEC

    4. margaret howard
      December 21, 2018


      ” we will just have to build our own car industry back up”

      Oh I remember them well, those halcyon pre EU days when, to the general amusement of our European cousins, you still had to stick you hand/arm out of the window if you wanted to turn right or left because our manufacturers still built cars without proper indicators.
      And driving my particular model of a so called ‘sports car’ was like steering an ocean liner.
      And trying to get the hood up or down risked a few broken fingernails at best and getting soaked when it drizzled.

      1. John Hatfield
        December 21, 2018

        What century were you born in Margaret? You should have waited and got a Mini.

      2. fedupsoutherner
        December 21, 2018

        Margaret. You’re like a broken record. Always moaning about your own country. You just love taking every opportunity to find something to go on about. Why don’t you move to somewhere like Spain and you’ll soon have plenty to moan about when you get fleeced left right and center by the illegal going’s on of the authorities out there.

      3. libertarian
        December 22, 2018

        margaret howard

        You really are tedious and sum up the average remainer. You post the same drivel over and over again despite being shown the facts

        Proper car indicators were installed in UK cars before German cars and long before the 1970’s

        I gave you all the links to this last time you posted your nonsense

        If you really can’t handle verifiable facts you should avoid debating on grown up forums. Stick to Facebook

        1. libertarian
          December 22, 2018


          If your “sports car” was so bad why on earth did you buy it?

          Which European sports car ( at the time) would have been better?

      4. a-tracy
        December 22, 2018

        What car did you buy Margaret that you had to put your arm out of the window and what year? What were the comparable French cars that had indicators for the same price.
        My Dads first car was a Morris Minor he loved it, cheap and basic but nice styling but he laughs when he remembers it had indication flaps that popped out, there werent many cars on the road around our way then.

  19. oldtimer
    December 21, 2018

    “Why doesn’t any of this worry them? Why don’t they do something to stop it?” you ask. I suggest that to do something about it would not fit the Remainer narrative that Brexit is a disaster.

    1. Ian
      December 21, 2018

      Hi Old timer

      That is exactly why , you have hit the nail on the head.

      They are all Remainers

      As if we need more proof, why on Earth can it have taken two years to get here, non of the people in the Cabinet can possibly be BREXITEER s .

      Tusk from the EU told us all some weeks ago that the Canada ++++ had been on the table from the very start, just a day or two ago , he said it is Still There !

      Draw your own conclusions ?

      Best regards
      One and all

  20. libertarian
    December 21, 2018

    Car industry is in a bad state due to the combined efforts of the EU and Phillip Hammond

    Still , they are so desperate to sell cars I picked up 2 brand new Mercs 2 weeks ago with a 25% discount on each !! Oh and they are both petrol engine cars

    1. TRP
      December 21, 2018

      So, what are you telling us? That for people with money there are bargains to be got independent of the EU or Hammond. Isn’t that going against the whole idea of this blog, when one has to be complaining about the EU and the Chancellor?

      1. libertarian
        December 21, 2018


        No what I’m telling you is that the German car makers are so desperate to sell cars to us ( due to the EU & Hammond ruining the market) that they are offering big discounts

        Wow , the lack of awareness is staggering

  21. acorn
    December 21, 2018

    Eleven months into the year, registrations of new passenger cars in the EU increased slightly (+0.8%) compared to one year ago. Demand continues to be fuelled by Central Europe, where new car registrations went up by 9.6% so far this year. Looking at the major EU markets, Spain (+8.0%) and France (+4.7%) posted solid growth from January to November 2018, while registrations fell in Italy (-3.5%) and the United Kingdom (-6.9%) during the same period. (ACEA)

    1. libertarian
      December 21, 2018


      Probably because the fabled German train network is in a bit of a problem

      We are becoming a joke’: Germans turn on Deutsche Bahn

      Cancelled trains, lengthy delays, cracked bridges and wildcat strikes by disgruntled employees – a trail of chaos in recent months has caused Deutsche Bahn (DB) to become the butt of jokes and withering complaints.

      1. The Prangwizard
        December 21, 2018

        As for Dutch trains, they seem to be punctual but the interiors are shabby, dirty and old fashioned.

        1. fedupsoutherner
          December 21, 2018

          Same in Italy. Graffiti everywhere and old fashioned, filthy trains. Not much better in Spain either with trains cancelled with no warnings. In spite of what Margaret Howard thinks, it’s not just here in the UK that we get problems.

        2. Rien Huizer
          December 22, 2018

          How often do you use Dutch trains?

  22. Lifelogic
    December 21, 2018

    So David Gauke may ‘find it hard’ to serve in the cabinet if UK heads for real WTO leave.

    Great a win, win. Please can he take Rudd, Hammond, Greg Clarke, Lidington, Perry and the rest of the remainiac dopes with him please.

    Voting against the Tory membership and kicking the 17.4 Million leave supporters in the teeth is not a good plan. It will revive a Farage II UKIP party, destroy the Tories and give us Corbyn. It is the wrong thing to do economically even without the threat of Corbyn.

    A managed WTO real Brexit please, Cameron & May have had nearly three years to prepare for one after all. Negotiate as needed after leaving on matters of mutual interest. Pay nothing until we are getting something that is more than worth the price.

  23. a-tracy
    December 21, 2018

    I’ve not replaced my old car because of all this diesel uncertainty, extra taxation, and I don’t know what type of car I want next because of technology changes that are leaving customers that still buy and not lease/hire wondering what to buy next, we’re told some cars are worth waiting for and I want to see which companies stay supportive of their UK workforce as I think that will be an important selling point in the future.
    If some of these big companies pull out of the UK as they are threatening to do then we need to entice other nations car production companies into the UK and promote them and new vehicle companies making cars for our market predominantly with our workforce where they can get parts and spares quickly and easily and not cause problems for themselves by being unable because of EU paperwork to trade in goods quickly and cost-effectively with us to operate and sell here.

  24. Mockbeggar
    December 21, 2018

    It seems to me that, on this side of the Channel at least, the Chancellor is doing everything he can to put Brexit in the worst possible light, even at the expense of the British motor manufacturing industry. It’s all part of Project Fear mark 2.

  25. Maybot
    December 21, 2018


    The BBC is adamant. Brexit is killing everything. They were on high streets last night and people were saying “We’re not spending on Christmas because of Brexit.”

    Funny that. Because my high street (where I did ALL of my shopping) shop keepers were telling me that it had been their best year for a long while.

    “At last people are getting the message that if you don’t use our shops you lose them and then their locality and house prices go down the pan.”

    I’ve always bought locally btw. Often paying a bit extra to do so. (Even the foreign shop keepers, Andy !)

    I am truly shocked by the levels of propaganda and find myself turning the TV and radio off a lot. Lots of people I know are doing the same.

    Reply I don’t think people stop spending because of Brexit! People spend less if they have less to spend, and more if they have had a rise or a tax cut. Fear of losing your job can create caution, but we have had steady increases in jobs since the vote and no evidence people are more worried about losing their work.

    1. Maybot
      December 21, 2018

      “Because my high street (where I did ALL of my shopping) shop keepers were telling me that it had been their best year for a long while.”

      Let me preempt Basement Andy:

      “Ah. That’ll be the last hurrah before Brexit. ”

      (Better than the usual ‘in spite of…’ barb.)

    2. Maybot
      December 21, 2018

      Reply to reply – Nor do I think people stop spending because of Brexit. Obviously caught you on an OFF moment, Dr Redwood.

    3. Bob
      December 21, 2018

      “find myself turning the TV and radio off a lot.”

      Join the club, it’s like an endless propaganda loop, the sort you might expect in North Korea.

      My wife tells me that the shops are packed, the BBC says not, who should I believe? The BBC is obviously spinning for Brussels.

  26. Adam
    December 21, 2018

    Rust used to damage British cars. At that time some in govt & car production regarded as a stimulus for new demand.

    Those who don’t do the right thing often have motives that suit their own errant objectives instead of the people their employment exists to serve.

  27. Bob
    December 21, 2018

    Some government ministers are declaring that they will not agree to leave the EU without a deal. So the EU says no deal then!

    It’s not rocket surgery.

    Where do you get there idiots from?

    1. Captain Peacock
      December 21, 2018

      In politics stupidity is not a handicap.
      Napoleon Bonaparte.

    2. Maybot
      December 21, 2018

      Well you must be bloody clever if you’re a rocket surgeon.

    3. Original Richard
      December 21, 2018

      If the EU is refusing to negotiate our future relationship until we sign their unacceptable Withdrawal Agreement then we have no option but to leave at the end of March 2019 without signing it.

      If both sides cannot agree on a Withdrawal Agreement, and hence both agree to a “no deal” exit, doesn’t this count as a “Withdrawal Deal” from which both sides can then negotiate their future relationship after the UK’s exit from the EU ?

  28. formula57
    December 21, 2018

    Nothing is done I expect as the “some in government” are not there to do anything, rather to explain why nothing can be done because of Brexit.

  29. Ron Olden
    December 21, 2018

    The reason why politicians are not ‘worried’ nor ‘doing something to stop it’, is because they can read the figures and know the facts.

    We also stopped wasting our time with Keynesian Demand Management when Mrs Thatcher took office in 1979.

    For a start car production in the UK this year has still been above 2014-15 levels.

    In any case we can’t alter any EU regulations till after we’ve left. And by then the recent changes will have settled in so we won’t want to.

    The big fall in car production in November is NOT related to UK taxes nor to domestic demand. 80% of cars produced in the UK are exported.

    The 19.6% total fall in manufacturing in November consisted of a 22.8% fall in manufacturing for export and a 1.9% fall in manufacturing for domestic UK demand.

    New Van Registrations in the UK increased 9.6% in November. Year on year sales of cars were only 3% down and electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles (including hybrids) rose 24.5%

    Unless there really is a short term blip owing to ‘Brexit uncertainty’ (which I doubt), year on year sales will into positive territory by the time we Leave the EU in March.

    Pumping up domestic demand with EVEN CHEAPER and RISKIER credit is the old style Keynesian road to ruin.

    In due course when all these model changes have been completed, things will be back to normal.

    Clearly the UK’s car, manufacturers have more confidence in their industry than John Redwood does, otherwise they’d be laying people off, rather than keeping them on, on full pay whilst giving them, time off when there’s nothing to do.

    And in August Aston Martin announced it will be making its new electric car in South Wales, and this month Calsonic Kansei, announced further investment and new jobs in its’ electric car parts research and production operation in Llanelli.

  30. Atlas
    December 21, 2018

    …Don’t forget the Climate Change economic damage that the EU is rushing to bind us all into…

    Anyway, amidst all this Remoaner gloom being peddled elsewhere, may I wish you a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous (WTO) New Year !

    1. roger
      December 21, 2018

      Ably assisted by the spluttering utterings of Gove, whose grasp of the reality of things electrical , from generation through to distribution and proposed vehicular transport reveals a mindset sourced from over avid reading of science fiction comics.

      1. dame rita webb
        December 21, 2018

        Osborne and Cameron were famously ignorant of the price of a bottle of milk. Mr Gove seems to be ignorant of the price of a pop up toaster or a kettle. You can pick them up for round a tenner in most big supermarkets. Yet he now wants to establish a national chain of repair shops to reduce them ending up in landfills when they stop working. Even if you were talking about large white goods, like a fridge, the differential between what the state repairer would charge for a fix would not be big enough to stop you buying a new one. No doubt this idea is a hang over from the time MPs could buy such stuff on expenses with John Lewis being used as a price comparisonm

        1. Penny
          December 21, 2018

          Dame Rita – lots of towns & cities now have “Repair Cafès” where you can take a broken radio, kettle etc and local people will tinker and repair them. I’m surprised (ahem!) that Mr Gove isnt aware that his Repair Shops are already flourishing. I’d hate for him to take the credit for this!

  31. Kim Dole
    December 21, 2018

    The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has explicitly described your pet no deal project as catastrophic. My question to you is why you keep posting comments that are the exact opposite of the truth?

    Reply They are correct. What do you think is wrong about them? Flinging colourful adjectives and adverbs about is not a factually based argument.

  32. Peter Martin
    December 21, 2018

    It’s not just car sales. There are signs that the economy is slowing generally.

    So far the economy has held up better than many expected after the leave vote. But I would say that we will likely get a slump in the next year or two. All the signs are there. The big one being falling house prices. Naturally, Remainers will like to blame it all on Brexit.

    We’re not the only ones to feel a recession coming on!

    It looks like the Aussies are in for “a Brexit induced slump” too! Who would have thought that Brexit could have such far reaching effects?

    How about considering that the main economic problem, in both Australia and the UK, is that both countries have relied far too heavily on the creation of high levels of private debt to keep their economies moving and have created damaging credit and housing bubbles. To paraphrase Mrs T, the problem with Capitalism is that it eventually runs out of other poeple’s borrowed money.

  33. Peter Wood
    December 21, 2018

    No, this is because buyers are already borrowed up to limit and there is the start of a worldwide economic downturn. Look at the stats for personal indebtedness and house affordability, they are at extreme levels.
    In 2007-10 Governments and central banks flooded western economies with cheap money that disturbed the natural cycle of economic Darwinism, which would have eliminated moribund companies and industries. We will now pay the price of that policy.

  34. Rien Huizer
    December 21, 2018

    Mr Redwood,

    The motor industry in Europe is dealing with a shift from diesel to petrol, hybrid and possibly electric cars. There are two reasons: the industry has not been able to prove its claims to the combination of fuel efficiency and cleanliness (CO2, NOX, particles) and most makers have been caught fiddling the rules. Second, many cities in Europe are dealing with very high levels of particles that are a clear health hazard, resulting in innner city driving bans in many German cities, for instance. The most recent diesels are probably very clean but meanwhie the public and especially fleet owners have given the industry the message that diesel is no longer cool, despite the fact that the inner city particles problem is caused mainly by poorly maintained older models that should be taken off the roads and the the newer models with their high efficiency need special, ongoing treatment, to keep NOx levels as low as possible (another city driving problem) . Retrofitting the millions of relatively new, clean (particle-wise) and efficient cars is possible, but difficult and costly.

    As a result, some governments (like the German) are daling with this as a national problem but that does not make it easy. The borromline is that heavily diesel-dependent UK manufacturers like Landrover, Honda (both with very modern, efficient and relatively clean engines) have problems. Landrover as a relatively small business, with no obvious solution in sight and Honda by simply scrapping its beautiful UK designed diesels in exchange for hybrids.

    Why on earth is this to blame on EU regulations (you would not like to live in a city with heavy NOx and particle pollution or allow manufacturers to cheat on sensible and necessary consumer protection), UK taxes and monetary policy? In the UK petrol car sales are recovering pretty fast, so it must be diesel as the main culprit. This is probabl;y the bottom of the demand cycle (devaluation of existing diesels may depress replacement demand temporarily of course) and once manufacturers have reconfigured production thisns will change again. People should keep an eye on what is happening in Germany wrt diesel, because that will determine also how current diesl owners will fare.

    1. NickC
      December 22, 2018

      Rien, The EU (EEA) promoted diesels in the (stated) belief that diesels emitted less CO2 per kilometer than petrol cars. That’s what you get when an over-mighty state colludes with manufacturers for a little understood marginal improvement on something that is not a problem.

    2. libertarian
      December 22, 2018


      The rapid dieselisation of European transport has been created by policy Since the mid-1990’s EU encouraged diesel use as a climate solution because diesel engines emit less CO2 per km than petrol engines. Diesel fuel use in Europe has constantly increased in the past 25 years and now represents 70% of Europe’s road transport fuel use. Taxation is to blame for Europe’s rapid diesel expansion
      In all EU Member States, except the UK, diesel fuel is taxed less than petrol because of national tax policies guided by EU Energy Taxation Directive.

      This to me is one of the main reasons for wishing to leave the EU. Its policy and regulation is guided by corporate lobby groups and as we’ve seen time and again these always end up hurting the citizen

  35. Den
    December 21, 2018

    Why don’t they stop it? Because they are oblivious to the problems and would not know how to solve them anyway. Instead, they become the Three Wise Monkeys to protect their revered club membership.
    To these people, ‘Parliament’, whether here or there in Brussels, is just a club which pays them handsomely just for being a member of it.
    In Brussels they know they have no power to make or change Laws and sadly, that is rubbing off over here. Mrs May’s established dictatorial methods are alienating members of her own Party, Parliament and the British People. Especially the people who voted ‘To Leave the EU’.
    I do not care if GDP falls after we leave because I care more for my country and its FREEDOM from Brussels rule. Perceived costs are irrelevant because Freedom is Priceless.
    Furthermore, a Government who was behind its people would repudiate the false claims made by the Remainers with their outrageous scare mongering tactics BUT Mrs May says or does nothing, demonstrating she is as bad as her predecessor who spent £9 Millions or OUR money promoting the Remain Camp. Stop the rot and let’s get out of the EU ASAP.

  36. sm
    December 21, 2018

    Dear John – completely off topic, may I take this opportunity to thank you for all your tremendous hard work in running this blog, amongst so many others demands on your time during this harrowing year. It is very much appreciated.

    I wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year.

    1. Kevin Lohse
      December 21, 2018

      plus 100 upticks.

    2. Adam
      December 21, 2018


      Hear! hear! … in acknowledgement of JR’s consistently high quality performance, widely valued.

    3. Penny
      December 21, 2018

      And a hundred upticks from me! I find Dr Redwood’s postings invaluable in these confusing times.

      PS to Dr R – I’ve just read that you went to St Antony’s College in Oxford; up until end September, I worked there for over 10 years. I didn’t realise you were one of “ours”!

  37. Kevin Lohse
    December 21, 2018

    John, the UK public is over borrowed already, even if there wasn’t an economic bump on the horizon. Brexit on any terms will be disruptive in the short to medium period. Exiting from an EU determined to make an example of the UK electorate for having the temerity to chose self-determination and sovereignty over an increasingly uncertain material comfort under the faltering guidance of a technocratic elite will be bumpy. A credit squeeze has a silver lining under those circumstances. Household budgets are under pressure from rising food and energy prices which as usual affect the poorest the most. If government and MP’s really want to encourage consumption, they could do worse than to revisit the Climate Change Act.

    Reply Averages can mislead. There are many younger people rising to better paid jobs who need to be able to borrow to buy a car and or a home.

    1. Bob
      December 21, 2018

      @Kevin Lohse

      “EU determined to make an example of the UK”

      That could backfire on the EU big time.

      Deutsche Bank says a combinations of events across member states as well as protests in France and the next European Commission elections will have a disastrous impact on the bloc’s economy over the next two years.

  38. Robert
    December 21, 2018

    Happy Christmas John. Also to your family.

  39. Everhopeful
    December 21, 2018

    They only care about multinational companies? What did anyone care about our other industries that were decimated?

  40. Iain Gill
    December 21, 2018

    Some car makers do have fields full of diesel cars which are not selling.

    Which does seem to have been an product of hype in the press from politicians.

    Silly really as under current tax rules they are still a reasonable choice for many, its just fear of any unexpected change in the rules to be punitive against diesel.

    And silly because the political class are failing to understand the basic science, in particular for any given volume of oil which is refined it will always give off similar percentages of petrol and diesel, so that diesel is going to come out of the refinement process whatever the politicians do or say. And given that its going to be produced anyways the real question is what is the most environmentally friendly way of using it, and I bet use in a modern diesel car is a pretty sound choice given the options.

    1. Jagman84
      December 21, 2018

      They will need diesel to run the generators, that will stop the lights from going out,
      due to increasing reliance on intermittent energy. Going green has increased the need for conventional generation methods as a back-up. This is something that Australia has recently discovered to their cost. Look up Tasmania hydro, for more information.

  41. Dennis Zoff
    December 21, 2018

    Merry Christmas and happy New Year to everybody!

    …..a special Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year to you John.

    Thank you for all your hard work during some very trying times; often against idiotically obdurate and highly erroneous narratives from your pro-EU colleagues.

    We all trust March 2019 will be the final “successful” chapter in the Brexit negotiations.

  42. Ian
    December 21, 2018

    Dear Dr John,
    Very many thanks indeed for your insight Clarity of thought, we would all welcome more in this Government like you, someone like you who knows what he is talking about simply because of life experience,
    Too many of the others have no such experience, More is the pity.

    We can only dream that in future MPs will have to have had Life Experience

    Very best wishes to all Brexiteer s

    Happy Christmas

  43. Ian
    December 21, 2018

    Sorry my mistake ,
    I had forgotten that I have already done it .

  44. Baz Lloyd
    December 21, 2018

    John Redwood’s endless advocacy of ‘spend–spend’ ‘borrow-borrow’, leaves Corbyn standing.

    Figures out today show that in the third quarter, households spent more than they received for an unprecedented eighth quarter in a row.

    Meanwhile in the third quarter of 2018 the Trade Deficit widened from a colossal £20 Billion in the second quarter to an even more colossal £26.5 Billion.

    John Redwood however wants monetary policy relaxed so that credit and more is plentiful enabling us to buy yet more imports.

    The government itself added a further £7.2bn to the National Debt last month alone. Slightly less than last year, but still a colossal figure for this stage of the economic cycle.

    And only last week the ONS revealed that the government has been understating the Budget Deficit by £12 Billion, because it hadn’t been counting the proportion of Student Loans that we already know will never be paid back.

    If any of us managed our finances like politicians do the national ones we’d all be on the streets.

  45. Gobshitery
    December 21, 2018

    What is this about cars- ‘always about cars’..there are so many other things to think about in life, some people can go their whole lives and live with cars. Bread we need, milk we need, fresh air housing and water we need…so if we order our lives in a different way, am very sure that we can do without cars- remember we did without cars up until a hundred years or so

    1. sm
      December 22, 2018

      100 years ago ‘we’ also did without antibiotics, mobile phones, universal airtravel, reliable contraception, credit cards……what’s your point?

  46. Gobshitery
    December 21, 2018

    Without cars

  47. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    December 21, 2018

    We all know that we are not hearing the truth about a Managed No Deal.

    All we get fed, are ridiculous scare stories, made up by fools who think they can scare us to death.

    What is true, is that a significant number of Cabinet Ministers are now seriously getting behind a Managed No Deal.

    The fact is…and re-MANIACS won’t like it…is that those Cabinet
    Ministers are seeing the true picture of what a Managed No Deal
    means…unlike us…they see the planning and the mitigations and the
    positive outcomes…and they are ignoring the hype, the lies and the constant wailing, of those determined to scupper Brexit and the Tory Party..

    It is now time for Cabinet Ministers to unite and to take us forward with a Managed No Deal.

  48. Original Richard
    December 21, 2018

    It’s all part of Mr. Hammond’s plan to make us all feel poorer as a result of voting for Brexit. [But on the other hand it is ensuring we have the lowest deficit for 15 years]

    Where is the logic of having a Chancellor who doesn’t believe in Brexit and hence would rather destroy the economy to prove that he was right, rather than a Chancellor who is working to make sure Brexit works and to increase the country’s prosperity ?

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      December 21, 2018

      There is no logic, and perhaps the referendum question should have been coupled with one where the PM had to be Leave for a Leave vote. We have basically voted to be taken to the nursery by Queen Herod.

    2. Penny
      December 21, 2018

      I think that one way we’re all feeling a little poorer is our Chancellor increasing direct and indirect taxes…

  49. Steve
    December 21, 2018

    I don’t buy into the propaganda concerning the motor industry. It really has become a tool of project fear, some of it even peddled by the industry itself.

    Also the shadow Transport Secretary was on a news interview today, according to him, brexit is responsible for the drone disruptions to Gatwick.

    Seems remoaners will come out with any old guff these days.

  50. Javelin
    December 21, 2018

    Bremoaners solution to Y2K would be to reverse time.

  51. mancunius
    December 22, 2018

    It is most curious that no media commentator ever challenges the likes of RR and JLR when they announce ‘possible’ production-line reductions ‘as a result of the uncertainties surrounding Brexit’. When you look at their seasonal patterns of production, the frequency with which they increase and decrease production and open and close production sites, (depending largely on local wages, tax breaks and covert government aid), and when you analyse the problems of the eurozone and the global car economy, their global moves have so obviously nothing at all to do with ‘Brexit uncertainty’. But few news interviewers ever learn enough about basic economics to challenge the CEOs – they simply refer to them cringingly as ‘experts’, and their obvious preference for having tariff-free trade between the EU and the UK as ‘essential’.
    They’re not, and it isn’t.

  52. libertarian
    December 22, 2018

    Margaret Howard, Newmania, Andy, Tabulazero et al

    JCB, Boeing, Siemens, Talgo, McLaren, Meggitt, MBDA, Dowty Propellers, Gestamp, Atlas Copco, Magna, Aggreko, Xtrac, Ineos, Mallaghan, Baker Hughes GE & Ibstock Brick are just some of the global manufacturers that have opened new UK factories in 2018 #UKmfg #GBmfg🇬🇧

    Commercial vehicle production in the UK surged by 26.5% in November – SMMT

    Trailer, commercial vehicle body and conversion manufacturer Cartwright Group set to create 178 jobs after securing planning permission for new factory build in Belton, North Lincolnshire

  53. Edwardm
    December 22, 2018

    Yes, absolutely.
    Jaguar have invested in producing clean diesels, but they are being hammered by selective car taxes. No thought to production investment cycle times. Results in lower tax take.
    But fits in with both the remoaner and green-beyond-reason narratives, so all OK.

Comments are closed.