92% of automotive businesses open

Published:  07 July, 2020

92% of automotive businesses were open by the second half of June, with 19% of those actually reporting an increase in turnover according to an analysis of new Office of National Statistics (ONS) data by the IMI.

The ONS data in question covers 15-28 June, and looks at the whole sector, which in 2019 comprised 620,000 jobs in 95,000 establishments covering 167 occupations. The IMI’s deep dive into the figures also revealed that a further 4% of businesses, totalling 3,300, intend to reopen during the first two weeks of July. Approximately 62,000 jobs returned to work from furlough in the second half of June and an additional 19,700 are planned to return in the first two weeks of July. Approximately 219,000 jobs remain on furlough

While 19% of automotive businesses did report an increase in turnover, 60% actually reported a decrease.

35% of automotive business said that their cash reserves would last more than six months – an increase of 4% since last reporting. However, 6.1% said that they either had no cash reserves or less than a month, potentially putting 5,000 businesses at risk.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said: “It is tremendously encouraging to see how determined our sector has been in getting back on its feet since the 1 June opening of showrooms. Our previous report showed tentative signs of recovery but the latest data suggests that automotive businesses really grasped the nettle in the second half of June. Just 8% had not reopened and 62,000 jobs returned to work from furlough. But with only just over a third saying that cash reserves would last for more than six months, it’s clear that balancing cashflow remains a challenge.”

Steve added: “The latest data certainly should give some cheer. However, the big concern remains about the long-term impact on the skill-set of the sector. We have continued to lobby government to look at ways to ensure that skills and training are supported going forward and hope that tomorrow’s Chancellor’s statement provides good news, not just for the automotive sector but right across business and industry.”

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