The US economy and the resulting weakness of the dollar looks like it may well contribute to the price of crude oil continuing to rise as investors have been holding the commodity instead of dollars. This means that as the cost of a barrel of crude oil comes close to the $100 figure then so fuel prices have also continued to rise.
So do higher fuel costs mean we are likely to buy or use cars, vans and Lorries less in 2008? Well seemingly not based on a latest poll of motorists. Despite fuel prices increasing at alarming rates a whopping 79 percent of motorists questioned said they had not changed their petrol and fuel buying habits and had no plans to do so. In fact the motorists questioned said petrol prices would have to increase at even more alarming rates to stop them from filling up.
Environmental issues would it seem not be as important as governments throughout the world as over 1 in 3 motorists confirmed they had no plans to replace their vehicles for more environmentally friendly cars before 2010.
And so if motorists are seemingly unaffected by rising fuel costs and are prepared to continue driving despite increased road tax and the impact on the environment surely positive times are ahead for the industry in 2008?
Well before car manufacturers and dealers start doing cartwheels, caution would certainly be advised as whilst General Motors can seen promising performance in emerging markets they have seen big losses in both American and European markets.
And with the world economy in such an uncertain state as 2007 draws to a close 2008 could well see new car sales fall with used car sales increasing. Car sales and indeed sales of all types are also likely to increase via the internet in 2008 so car dealers (new and used) without an internet presence should really be looking at establishing themselves in this emerging marketplace.
And what of the actual motorist, what does 2008 have in store for us? Well how about further increases in vehicle tax, more toll roads, increased congestion charges and still a seeming lack of a viable alternative to road use through reliable, clean and safe public transport.
The good news for some motorists is that on one front whilst the government is seemingly do all they can to penalise the motorist by increasing the cost of actually fuelling and driving our vehicles, insurance premiums including car insurance, van insurance and motor trade insurance are pretty stable. In fact with such competition in the insurance industry the cost of insurance like combined motor trade insurance could even fall and savings could be made.
And motor traders who are looking to make savings on their motor trade insurance premiums in 2008 could save even more by using a specialist insurance broker. A insurance broker could well be the route to take to make sure they get the protection they need at a price that is right.
2008 promises to be another exciting year for car manufacturers, motor dealers, car repairers and indeed all involved in the automotive industry so buckle up and enjoy the ride.