Automotive sector: turnover up, 2018 looks positive

Entrepreneurs in the motor vehicle industry achieved nearly 4 percent more turnover in Q3 2017 than in the same quarter one year previously. Their outlook for 2018 is positive as well: turnover growth in the previous quarters is expected to continue. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in its quarterly monitor on the motor vehicle industry.

Turnover in this sector has seen an upward trend for nearly three years already, with the exception of a drop in Q4 2016 following a peak in turnover at the end of 2015.

Trade in passenger cars boosts turnover

Turnover growth in Q3 2017 is mainly on account of importers of new passenger cars and the passenger vehicle industry. Turnover realised by importers was nearly 7 percent up year-on-year, while turnover in the passenger vehicle industry was more than 6 percent higher. Sales of new passenger cars were higher than in Q3 2016.

Motorcycle dealers, too, saw their turnover increase: by almost 4 percent. Turnover developments in the other industries were less positive. The largest turnover decline was recorded in the commercial vehicle industry at nearly 3 percent. After nine quarters of growth, car service firms also saw their turnover fall by almost 1 percent. Turnover realised by traders in automotive parts and components dropped by just under 2 percent.

Turnover developments motor vehicle industry, Q3 2017
Total motor vehicle industry3.8
Passenger vehicle industry6.3
Motorcycle industry 3.8
Car service firms-0.9
Trade in automotive parts
and components
Commercial vehicle industry-2.9

Positive outlook for 2018

Automotive entrepreneurs expect this year’s upward trend to continue in 2018; on balance, nearly 33 percent anticipate turnover growth.

They are also positive about staffing and future investments. On balance, over 6 percent of entrepreneurs expect to increase staff levels next year, while 5 percent are planning to make more investments. Compared to previous years, expectations for 2018 are high. The mood among entrepreneurs has improved significantly over the past five years.

Across all subsectors, turnover expectations for 2018 are positive. The outlook on staffing is positive as well in most subsectors. Staff reductions are only expected by traders in automotive parts and components. On future investments, however, subsectors are more divided. Entrepreneurs in the car dealing and repair sectors and in the motorcycle industry anticipate more investments, while car service firms and traders in automotive parts and components expect fewer investments.