November new car market down but ahead of expectations

Registrations are also expected to fall in December, but earlier growth in the first half of the year should ensure a net gain of around 2% to some 2.03 million units. The market is forecast to fall by some 5% in 2011 to 1.93 million units, due to the impact of the austerity measures and notably the expected squeeze on consumer spending. The Ford Fiesta was once again the best selling new car in the month. Demand for supermini cars has weakened post the scrappage scheme, but volumes of dual purpose vehicles and MPVs continue to rise. The better than expected monthly performance reflected an improvement in fleet volume and a less steep than anticipated decline in private registrations. There could have been some pull-forward ahead of the January VAT rise. DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Registrations fell by 11.5% in November to 139,875 units, performing ahead of forecast.New car market remains 3.4% up over the first 11 months of the year at 1,907,029 units.The year is set to end up on the 2009 outturn by around 2% at over 2.03 million units.Recovery in fleet volumes, up 10.7% over the year to date, supporting overall market.The market was up 14.0% compared with last November’s market less scrappage volumes.“New car registrations fell by less than expected in November with demand from the fleet sector helping to offset the market rebalancing following the end of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Registrations are expected to fall next month, but demand may benefit from motorists looking to avoid the January VAT rise. This factor, coupled with the strength of the first half of 2010, means year-end volumes are expected to lift to over 2.03 million units, 2% up from last year. Next year will continue to be challenging as consumer spending tightens and government’s austerity measures take effect.”     Rate of slowdown eases, as market betters expectations in NovemberThe new car market declined for a fifth successive month in November, as volumes continue to adjust to a market without the Scrappage Incentive Scheme. However, volumes in the month were 8% or just over 10,000 units ahead of our forecast of 129,400 units for November. At 139,875 units the market was down 11.5% on last year. The market in 2009 included 35,415 cars reportedly bought through the scrappage scheme, equivalent to 22.4% of the total then. Diesel car volumes rose sharply to 53% in November, coupled with the slowdown in registrations of petrol cars which benefitted strongly from last year’s scrappage scheme. Registrations of alternatively fuelled cars jumped 83.5% in November to give them a 1.3% share of the November market and a 1.1% share over the year-to-date.

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