This time next year the world could be a very different place.
Donald Trump might well have just been inaugurated as the 47th President of the United States, while Sir Keir Starmer could still be enjoying a honeymoon period as our new Prime Minister.
However, as 2023 demonstrated, conflicts, climate crises and other challenges could also materialise at any time.
As for the automotive industry, if the SMMT’s predictions are correct, the sector will continue its recovery in 2024.
UK new cars sales grew 18% in 2023 marking the best year for registrations since the pandemic.
The SMMT reckons that the overall market outlook for 2024 is marginally more positive than previously anticipated, up 1% to nearly two million registrations.
And there’s more good news when it comes to UK production. More than a million vehicles were produced in 2023 for the first time since 2019, and well above earlier forecasts.
The number of cars manufactured last year rose to 905,000, while van output climbed to 120,000.
Finally, 2024 could see the launch of as many as half a dozen brands (mostly Chinese) new to the UK.
And if any of these cars are as good as the acclaimed Seal from BYD in 2023, then we’re in for some treats.
Omoda (from Chery Automobile), Nio, Xpeng and AiWays plus Geely’s, Lynk & Co and Zeekr might all make an appearance.
The Fisker Ocean will be the odd one out. Made in America, the futuristic electric SUV is available to order now, with prices starting from £36,900.
So, 2024 promises to be a busy year for those of us writing about new cars, as the industry transitions from ICE to electric, and the charging infrastructure tries to keep pace.
Gareth Herincx / WGMW Chairman