Latest figures reveal the difficulties being experienced by the car industry, which is hugely important to the West Midlands.
New car sales are at their lowest point since 1996. It is a situation fuelled by the cost of living crisis and supply chain issues.
Manufacturers cannot get parts and the just-in-time network is to some extent broken.
As a society we are at a turning point.
Those looking for a new car may be reluctant to go for petrol or diesel but feel an electric car is still not practical for them.
Electric cars are also prohibitively expensive for most people, who cannot afford the initial up-front payment, even though it leads to savings in the long run and benefits an environment in crisis.
Motoring writer Bill McCarthy today looks at the position we are in with electric vehicles.
He describes the “genie moment” as electric cars became a familiar sight. Yet the infrastructure is still not up to scratch.
It is true that the number of vehicles on the road has increased exponentially, with Elon Musk’s Teslas leading the charge.
However, until an electric car owner can drive anywhere in the UK without first having to worry about the accessibility of charging points, we will never fully embrace the new technology.
Moves to install charging points in our towns, cities, and even in villages must be stepped up aggressively if we are to convince the majority of car owners that their next vehicle should be electric.
The UK – and the West Midlands – has the potential to be a world leader in green technology. We should not forsake the golden opportunity.
Most of us will see an increase in our pay packets next month when National Insurance changes kick in.
The problem is, most of us won’t notice it because of soaring prices elsewhere.
Consumer confidence in the economy has hit its lowest point since the start of the pandemic as households feel the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, figures suggest. Just eight per cent of consumers think the UK economy will improve over the next 12 months, while 78 per cent think it will worsen, according to the Which? Consumer Insight Tracker.
And that is where the trouble lies. We feel poorer, we spend less and we fear for the future. And before we know it, we find ourselves in recession.
The NI changes will be welcome, but ministers most do much more to get inflation under control and to convince us all of a brighter future.