Not long after Theresa May gave her headline Brexit speech, various automotive industry representatives spoke out about their perspective on the ongoing issue:
The UK new car market achieved another record year in 2016, with annual registrations climbing for the fifth year in a row to almost 2.7 million, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The market has experienced uplifts in 10 out of the last 12 months, albeit finishing with a December down slightly by -1.1 per cent – with 178,022 new cars registered in the month. However, the SMMT also gave a negative prediction for growth in 2017.
David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union as well as DFT and BEIS ministers joined a roundtable with SMMT and automotive leaders regarding Brexit and the automotive industry. The event took place on 12 December at SMMT’s headquarters in London and was also attended by John Hayes, Minster of State, Department for Transport and Nick Hurd, Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Commenting on the SMMT figures for November Chris Bosworth, director of strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “[The] new registration figures from the SMMT indicates that the automotive sector is poised to end 2016 with record sales, with transactions for the year surpassing 2.5 million for the first time. This is a significant milestone, and proof that the sector has remained buoyant despite the uncertainty created by the vote for Brexit.
184,101 new cars were registered in the UK this November, with the market increasing by a steady 2.9 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The growth has helped deliver more than 2.5 million new cars on to British roads so far this year – the first time the milestone has been reached in November.
Figures released by the SMMT show that the new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market declined -3.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, with 11,242 units registered. The fall in demand follows five consecutive quarters of growth, and year-to-date the market remains strong, with registrations up 6.6 per cent against the same period in 2016.
The UK new car market experienced modest growth in October following a bumper plate-change month in September, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 180,168 cars were driven off the UK’s forecourts last month as registrations grew 1.4 per cent.
New van registrations declined by 4.5 per cent in October, showing the first signs in 2016 of weakening. In year to date figures, the market remains two per cent higher than 2015, with a total of 318,664 units registered in the first ten months of 2016: the best performance on record.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports 180,168 new cars were registered in October, representing modest growth of 1.4 per cent. The growth was largely supported by fleet registrations, with private buyers continuing the trend of small declines. Registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to show growth in double digits, while the overall total for the year is also growing marginally, showing the resilience of the market. Analysis from KPMG suggests that predicted incremental price increases will not severely affect the market, though lower figures are anticipated in 2017.
An investigation into the pre-registering of cars by the BBC Radio 4 consumer programme ‘You and Yours’, suggests that up to a fifth of new cars in the UK are estimated to be "pre-registered" to dealers - potentially skewing sales figures and leaving drivers confused.
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Light commercial vehicles’ sales rose 6.3 per cent compared to last year with 15,385 vans and light trucks registered, the latest SMMT commercial vehicle registration figures show. The most significant increase came from mid to large size vans, which grew by over 14 per cent. ‘Pick-ups’ and 4x4 trucks showed a minor growth, while sub 2.0t car-derived vans, often used by self-employed tradespeople, declined -5.2 per cent.
The UK new car market achieved modest growth in August, as registrations rose 3.3 per cent against the same month last year, according to figures released by SMMT. 81,640 new cars were registered in the month, with year-to-date performance remaining positive, up 2.8 per cent to 1.68 million units.