5 ways CORONAVIRUS is KILLING motoring
COVID 19 – What does it mean for the car
industry? In case you hadn’t heard, the Coronavirus
is causing a lot of trouble for the world. Here are 10 implications of the Covid-19 virus
from the perspective of a motoring journalist. Hello and welcome to A Tribe Called Cars.
We interrupt the usual racing game, car review and car journalist VLOG schedule for a chat
about the Coronavirus. Covid-19, as it’s also known, is causing
worldwide havoc and I’m not just talking about toilet roll, which has become such a
desirable currency that people are calling it Buttcoin. Get it?
Anyway, things are bad for everyone but I’m not a scientist or virologist or prime minister
so I’m not going to tell you wash your hands and stay inside to enjoy your now lower-resolution
Netflix. But I will now list 5 things the car industry
has or will see happen because maybe, just maybe, some of you will find that interesting.
Maybe. 1) Don’t expect many car reviews
Obviously non-essential travel is either frowned upon, in the case of the UK, or banned in
other parts of the world so it’s no wonder all car press trips have been cancelled except
one. In fact, the 2020 Kia Soul EV drive I did the other day was meant to be in South
Korea. That means magazines such as Autocar and Evo
will have fewer cars to fill their pages. Not an issue this month perhaps, but certainly
an issue over the 12-week turnaround time UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said we
will need to see Coronavirus under control. Motoring journalists and influencers make
use of car fleets to test cars after a launch has been and gone, sometimes before if said
person is really important. Not me, basically. Sadly, I know that most, if not all manufacturers
are already debating whether running a fleet is essential.
One the one hand, magazine staff and freelancers need to write about something. No car reviews,
no money basically. In that sense it’s essential to keep the fleet going. But it does put the
fleet staff at risk and could spread the virus. I know already that one of BMW’s press fleet
workers is off sick with the virus and another is suspected. These cannot be the only cases
in the car industry. If the UK government enforces a lockdown as
seen in Italy, Spain and France then there will be no need for car manufacturers to decide
what to do. If not, then it will be at their discretion so it could go either way.
2) Delayed or no car production Bentley was one of the first manufacturers
to announced it has suspended car production. BMW, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota have
since followed suit and others with plants in the UK are likely to follow.
What does this mean? Well, it means anyone who has ordered a car will at best have to
wait longer. At worst, their order will be cancelled. New orders will be rejected, too,
which means fewer sales and less money made. With diesel sales plummeting and people worried
about money more than ever, 2020 is undoubtedly going to be one of the worst years for the
car industry in recent history. Even if everything blows over in a month or two.
Some have argued the extra home time could lead consumers to research a future car purchase,
which is true, but that only works if they can actually buy something.
This could be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are fears the UK car industry may never
recover. That’s quite scary for anyone who works in the business, whether that’s in
a factory, dealership or head office. 3) No racing events
As you may have already seen, Formula One races have been cancelled. The TT on the Isle
of Man cancelled. Rally events cancelled. Just about anything where lots of people have
to gather in one area have been cancelled. So if you’re expecting motorsport action,
2020 will be annoyingly pedestrian. Fortunately, it seems as if F1 is using the downtime to
do virtual races, which will be a big boost to esports and at least give us something
to watch while you enjoy all that excess pasta. 4) Car YouTubers will have to be inventive
Given that car YouTubers rely on car access and flights, you’re going to see a lot of
different content from the likes of Mr JWW, Seen Through Glass and Supercars of London.
In fact, Shmee150 has already announced that his adventures are on hold.
That will force car YouTubers to diversify into other content. Racing games seem most
likely when you consider the audience crossover between real cars and digital ones, but there
are other options. 5) Fuel sales will drop
The severity of consumers being stuck at home, whether forced or not, is a nightmare scenario
for airlines, pubs, restaurants and basically any small business except one that makes hand
sanitiser, toilet roll or face masks. Not the skincare type, that is.
It also means fewer people will be on the roads, which is great for reducing traffic
congestion, but the knock-on effect will be less petrol being bought. Already the price
of crude oil has dropped, which has seen billions in value being taken off big oil companies.
As for how it affects you, already we have seen oil rig workers off work with Coronavirus
and that trend could mean production is reduced. If that trend continues in the extreme, it
could mean fuel shortages at the pump. So even if you can go anywhere, you might not
have a choice. That’s an extreme scenario, admittedly,
and what could also happen is a price correction we pay at the pump. In other words, cheaper
fuel. Every cloud, hey. And on that note, thank you for watching.
This is a rather random video but these are crazy times and so I thought I’d shed some
light on it from my perspective. Like and subscribe if you found it useful and, way
more importantly, take care of yourself and loved ones and buy supplies in moderation.
Nobody needs 248 toilet rolls, okay.