2012: How Was It For You?
IT WAS OK FOR THE NEW CAR MARKET
Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said, commenting on the news that 2,044,609 new cars were registered in the UK in 2012: “More than two million new cars were registered in the UK during 2012, up 5.3% on the previous 12 months and the best result since recession struck in 2008. Boosted by strong consumer demand, the market grew at its fastest rate for 11 years with innovative, fuel-efficient cars keeping buyers in showrooms. Looking ahead to 2013, we anticipate the market will hold firm, with manufacturers and dealers working hard to deliver quality and value to motorists.”
So; that’s up from 2011 (but STILL below 2007’s total of 2.4 million- which was pre-recession – by 14.9%) with December showing a 3.7% rise too, with the main reason being a 12.9% rise in private purchasing. And there was good news for the earth too with average new car CO2 emissions falling to a new low of 133.1g/km, 22.7% down on a decade ago.
Best selling cars in the year were dominated by Ford and Vauxhall with the Fiesta and Focus at 1 & 3, and Vauxhall Corsa and Astra at 2 & 4 with the VW Golf, Nissan Qashqai, BMW 3 Series, VW Polo, Mercedes C-Class and BMW 1 Series making up the rest of the Top Ten – but it should be noted that the Fiesta outsold the Corsa by nearly 20,000, and there was the same gap between 3rd and 4th place too!
There was an increase in the number of Mini (+54.2%), Supermini (+5.6%) and Dual Purpose (+21.1%) cars being sold, the number of UK-Built cars (+11.1%) and the market share of diesel cars (50.8%) to an all-time high, and an increase in all 4 UK regions too, with Scotland showing the highest increase of 8.93%. (Independently, of course)
NOT SO GOOD FOR THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE MARKET
Paul Everitt again: “While 2012 has been a challenging year for the UK commercial vehicle market with heavy trucks the only sector performing positively during the year. The commercial vehicle market ended 5.9% down on 2011 as business confidence wavered. Vans have struggled all year with just under 240,000 registered while truck volumes tailed-off towards the end of the year. We look forward to 2013 being a better year for the commercial vehicle market with a host of new products and innovative technologies boosting registrations.”
Sad indeed, as confidence in the UK economy was reflected in new commercial vehicle sales with December sales falling 15.8% year-on-year and overall yearly sales down to 285,343.
AND SO-SO NEWS FOR USED CARS
VALUES UP BUT DEMAND FLAT
British Car Auctions Communications Director Tony Gannon commented, “December typically records an uplift in month-on-month values and this year was no exception. In fact, records were established in 2010 and 2011, so it should come as no surprise that December 2012 would set a new benchmark value, particularly when factoring in the general lack of stock in the marketplace. Overall, prices remain strong despite demand being relatively flat and the lack of stock has generally meant good returns for business sellers. This stock shortage is a long term issue and is unlikely to change until new car volumes pick up significantly and the economy improves enough to generate a bigger churn of vehicles in the marketplace.”
December was a short month for BCA, but across the board, the average price of a used car rose by £940 from November to £7,361.
The main reason for this was the type of car sold, high value fleet/lease and nearly-new cars on the increase during December, while dealer part-exchange volumes fell in the same period of time. Perhaps Santa was only delivering to companies?
But also there was a lot of trade with professional buyers who wanted stock for New Year sales – pushing prices up.
But Tony Gannon warned not to get complacent about the year ahead.
“Currently there appears to be little on the horizon that is going to change those wider market conditions, but with the continuing economic pressures and reduced consumer confidence we should not expect to see the same robust value growth in 2013 that was experienced in 2012.”