New car sales down 10% in the first half of 2017

Despite the downturn in New Car Sales the motor industry is still buoyant

Official Car Sales Statistics released today by Car History experts showed New car sales have decreased by slightly more than 10% (90,893 units) for the first six months of the year compared 2016 (101,265 units). That’s 10,375 less cars registered in the period.
Similarly, commercial vehicles were down 14% (18,889 units) compared with 2016 (21,966 units).

Used Car Imports

The mitigating circumstances seem to be the huge increase in used cars imported from the UK due to Brexit and the resultant weakening of Sterling against the Euro. Used vehicle imports are up 41% or 13,381 units in the first half of the year.
Despite this the industry remains buoyant and whilst the trends in new car sales are down the outlook is largely positive as total new car sales for the year look set to be in and around 120k units.
A lot is made of the slide in new car sales, but actually both the Motor Trade and the economy seem to be in a good place despite the uncertainty that comes with Brexit. When viewed in the context of the last three years, where sustained growth of 30% plus year-on-year has brought the industry back to pre-2008 levels, a 10% adjustment downwards this year does not look bad at all. In addition, all car dealers also trade in used vehicles where the market is booming. More people in employment means more cars on the road and that means positive trends for the service and maintenance side of the business also. Any downturn in new vehicles is offset by the increases in these sectors.

Premium Sector Surge in June

If stats are anything to go by the results for new car sales in June seem to support a view of the booming economy with the premium segment dominating the month. In June BMW was the top selling manufacturer and the BMW 5 Series the top selling Model and the X1, 4 Series and 1 Series also making the top 10.

New car reg stats for the first six months of 2017 summarized:

































Six Months to the end of June 2017:

  • The top 5 Manufacturers, in order, with the most new car registrations are – Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Nissan
  • The top 5 Models are – Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus
  • Diesel remains he most registered fuel type with 66% of vehicles diesel cars (60,034 units), with Petrol cars accounting for 27% of all registration and year on year up 30% (27,460 units)
  • Electric and Hybrid vehicles are making a mark and now account for 3.7% of the total new market (up from only 1% last year) with Hybrids up 78% (3,019 units) and Electric vehicles up 33% (369 units) against the same period last year.
  • The top selling commercial vehicles were the Ford Transit, VW Caddy, Renault Trafic, Ford Transit-Connect and Peugeot Partner

Month to the end of June 2017:

  • The top 5 Manufacturers, in order, with the most new car registrations are – BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, Skoda, Dacia
  • The top 5 Models are – BMW 5 Series, BMW X1, Volkswagen Golf, Dacia Sandero, BMW 4 Series
  • New car sales in June down 13% (1,397 units in 2017 vs 1606 units in 2016)