October New Car Registrations Fall 22.2%
While the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders suggests the 2010 new passenger car market will be 1.5 per cent up on 2009 figures at the end of the year, October saw a “significant fall in… new car registrations,” says Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. Registrations fell 22.2 per cent to 131,495 in year-on-year comparisons, though this figure is in line with October 2009 if one discounts the Scrappage Incentive Scheme volumes. The impact of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme would therefore seem to have had no effect but to prop up the 2009 market temporarily, while the sluggish recovery of demand in 2010 could partially be the effect of consumers bringing new car purchases forward to take advantage of the scheme. Everitt also said “some deterioration in consumer confidence” was responsible.
“Total new car registrations in 2010 are forecast to be 2.026 million units, 1.5 per cent up on 2009,” said Everitt. “The industry expects the coming months to be challenging with slow, but steady, economic growth feeding through to improved confidence and demand during 2011.” In terms of the first ten months of 2010, the market is up 4.8 per cent at 1,767,154 units, though this too has been influenced by the scheme in the first half of the year, especially in January-March, when the larger part of the improvement on the same months in 2009 was from vehicles bought through the SIS. The top-selling vehicle was the Ford Fiesta, with slightly larger small family cars such as the Golf, Astra and Focus close behind.
In an end note, the SMMT reports that diesel reached its best ever monthly market share of 54.7 per cent and year-to-date share of 45.3 per cent. Diesel car registrations rose by 3.8 per cent as market share climbed to 13.7 percentage points higher than a year ago when demand for small petrol cars was vibrant through the scrappage scheme. Registrations of alternatively fuelled cars jumped 13.7 per cent in the month and are up 51.3 per cent over the first ten months of the year.