As we head towards Christmas I am struck both by how fast 2019 has skipped by, and at the same time, how much has happened this year. It’s the same every year as the holiday gives us pause to reflect on the year gone by and think about what next year may hold.
2019 has been a bit of a watershed year AutoDrain. We have done a lot of work this year updating our internal systems, improving our processes and creating capacity for our continuing expansion. We continue to grow our business, both within the ELV marketplace and outside it, and have exciting plans formed for 2020. A significant upturn in our export business is encouraging too.
There is certainly much to be positive about and yet we seem always to be approximately six weeks behind where we would like to be! With more new recruits joining us, 2020 should allow us to pursue all ouropportunities to the full.
I am proud to be a committee member of the Vehicle Recyclers’ Association. When we look back in years to come I think that 2019 may well prove to have been a pivotal year for the VRA. Regrettably a personal commitment prevented me from attending the Annual General Meeting this year. From what I hear though, it was a great success, with better attendance than ever before, and I was delighted to hear that the changes presented to the membership were approved. The Association has made incredible progress in the last couple of years, both as a campaigning organisation and as a trade association. With more hard work and the support of its members, it can only continue to benefit legitimate recyclers across the UK and bring greater and greater pressure to bear on the regulators.
In many ways then, for me the old year 2019 has been a very positive one.
Looking at the wider world it’s a more mixed picture though. The first quarter of 2019 saw a five-year high number of UK insolvencies. Toys R Us, Maplin and Poundworld were just some of the names to cease trading in the UK. It seems that the high street continues to be a place where we look at goods and buy coffee as we spend ever more of our money through the internet.
Game of Thrones became another TV phenomena that I never quite got around to watching, Lewis won another world championship and England ladies were great to watch. (Two watchable England football teams at the same time, who would have believed it?!?!?).
In the US Boeing had a plane grounded and President Trump started the year with the Government shutdown and finishes it in some danger of impeachment. The grounding of the Boeing was a surprise, anyway.
The beautiful Notre Dame cathedral was horrendously damaged in a fire and a sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg addressed the UN Council on the subject of climate change. (I assume that Mr Trump wasn’t watching) We also saw the first ever pictures of a black hole. Apparently, the ones on Star Trek weren’t real.
On 24thJuly Teresa May resigned as Prime Minister. In an era of what might charitably be described as weak leadership in Parliament she was replaced by Boris Johnson. With the third anniversary of the referendum well behind us Boris vowed that we would leave Europe by October 31stwhatever happened. We didn’t.
During the referendum 52% of us voted to leave and 48% to remain. Some informal research on my part suggests that 98.2% of us are now sick of hearing about it.
There has been widespread public criticism and a widely held view that the electorate are losing confidence and interest in politicians. The suggestion has been made that our MP’s are losing their connection with the real world. Taking this on board, the politicians decided to hold an election two weeks before Christmas.
So what does 2020 hold in store?
Will England make a major final? Will Lewis make it 7? Will Brexit finally happen? Will Boris lead us to a new era of post-European boom or will Jeremy triumph and make us all vote again (again).
Climate and the environment will no doubt be high on everyone’s agenda and perhaps a new government, of whatever shade, will allow some forward momentum in Westminster.
Whatever happens, I have no doubt that we will face and meet the challenges that are presented and succeed. Here at AutoDrain we will have new products, new colleagues a new catalogue and hopefully even more new customers.
In the meantime, I hope that you all have a fantastic holiday. We wish you all the very best of the season, a Merry Christmas and a Happy and profitable New Year.
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