With all the doom and gloom throughout Europe with the Euro and bailouts and Greek Riots and Spanish demonstrations and fallouts over EU subsidies, it is a pleasure to announce that, of the 5 big countries in Europe that are concerned with car sales (Germany, UK, France, Spain & Italy) the UK is the only one whose New Car Registrations increased in November.
I know it’s clutching at straws to claim this as a victory in the mould of Trafalgar and Waterloo, but at this moment in time and with the current depression hanging over the country, any victory is a victory. And it also means that the UK is now the second largest new car market in Europe, following growth in the UK over the last 10 months and a drop in demand in the other big markets.
Now, I am not too sure whether this means that as a country we are doing better with money or that we are really stupid with it but the figures are pretty pleasing to a car manufacturing accountant’s eye. In the UK, new car registrations rose 11.3% to 149,191 units in November, on the back of increased private demand which means that overall the UK new car market has grown 5.4% to 1,921,052 units during the January-November period.
And this in itself means that 2012 is looking to be the best year since 2008 (if December keeps the trend going) for new car registrations.
"New car registrations rose 11.3% in November, positioning the UK new car market as the second largest in Europe," said Paul Everitt, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Chief Executive. "The upward trend has been driven by private retail customers. The outlook for 2013 remains challenging, but vehicle manufacturers and their dealers will continue to work hard to attract motorists to their showrooms and deliver outstanding value."
In Europe, Germany still leads the new car sales just shy of 3,000,000 this year (but still down 1.6% on 2011) with the UK in 2nd place, having overtaken France, whose yearly sales have dropped a massive 13.2% since last year. This isn’t the worst though as Italy’s figures are 19.8% down, dipping below 1,500,000, with Spain’s reduction of 11.9% bringing up the rear.
In the UK, diesel cars still lead the way, but petrol engines are catching them up with an 18.4% increase in November purchases, and private ownership is closing the gap on Fleet cars too.
Best seller in November was the Ford Focus, just ahead of the Fiesta, with the Vauxhall Corsa, VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra making up the top 5, although the Ford Fiesta still holds overall yearly top spot. And, according to the SMMT, “the growth is likely to be market specific, boosted by attractive offers and new, innovative models offering significant fuel efficiency and cost savings.”
In the words of kids today: “WHATEVER!” Just look at the table and weep!