March LCV sales up 85.5 per cent, but still below industry expectations
SMMT figures show that the new light commercial vehicle market grew by 85.5 per cent in March with 56,122 vans joining UK roads with the ’21 new number plate. Usually one of the busiest months of the year, March saw the largest-ever increase since the switch to the two plate system in 1999, but one which still represented an -10.9 per cent decrease when compared to the pre-pandemic 2015-2019 average, as prolonged nationwide lockdown continued to suppress business confidence in the first quarter of the year.
Fleet sales mean March new car sales up 11.5 per cent YOY
The car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for the month of March shows that the UK new car market recorded its first ‘growth’ since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year. However, the month represents the anniversary of the first lockdown in March 2020, when the pandemic brought Britain to a standstill and registrations fell by -44.4 per cent.
Number of privately licensed battery electric vehicles in the UK rises 53 per cent in a year – RAC
RAC analysis of the latest official Government data shows that the number of battery electric vehicles (‘BEVs’) in private hands in the UK rose by nearly 30,000 in the 12 months to September 2020, an increase of 53 per cent on the year before, with more than a third of these (36 per cent) in London and the South East of England.
The UK new light commercial vehicle market grew by 22.0 per cent in the second month of the year, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Usually one of the year’s weaker months as many operators wait for the new March number plate, 2021 saw the strongest February since 1998, with 17,205 new models hitting UK roads as demand from the construction sector and online deliveries drove new vehicle uptake.
35.5% decline means lowest February car registrations for 62 years
The UK new car market declined by -35.5 per cent in February as 28,282 fewer units were registered during a traditionally weak month for new vehicle uptake, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The industry recorded its lowest February uptake since 1959, with 51,312 new cars registered.
Savvy electric car buyers seek reassurance over brand
Despite growing competition by manufacturers and retailers in promoting their electric vehicle offerings, a recent survey of 200 drivers by Venson Automotive Solutions confirms that the most important factors for people when considering an electric vehicle (EV) remain battery and price, closely followed by the vehicle’s safety rating. With EV sales predicted to rocket in the next couple of years, marketing brand lifestyle and experience may fall short when compared to pushing the practicalities of owning and driving an emissions free vehicle.
Covid year a catalyst for UK light vehicle tyre market trends
Common sense seems to dictate that when you tell the majority of the population to stay home, vehicle utilisation – and therefore tyre consumption – should be down across the board. And in a blunt sense the latest full-year panelmarket data from GfK, which tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends, does show that this happened. However, the latest infographic from the automotive market data analyst also reveals a few more subtle patterns to consumer behaviour in the difficult 12 months of 2020, compared with the previous period. This article is available in Tyres & Accessories February issue.
Hankook grows operating profit, withstands pandemic year
Hankook is celebrating 80 years in business in 2021. The tyre manufacturer is now firmly within the global top tier, with a strategy to consolidate its position further by increasing sales of larger, UHP tyres in major regions, supplying original equipment tyres for premium cars, and developing its electric vehicle market. In 2020, Hankook tyres performed well in independent tyre tests and expanded its original equipment business with premium car-makers. These included Porsches first high-performance electric sports car, Taycan, and Audi’s top models RS6, RS7 as well as Audi RS Q8. Overall, Hankook announced in its full year report for 2020 that it is targeting global sales of 7 trillion South Korean won (£4.6 billion) in 2021.
January power two wheeler UK sales fall 36.7 per cent, but dealers remain positive
The latest Motorcycle Industry Association’s (MCIA) registration figures show the overall Power-Two-Wheeler (PTW) market was down 36.7 per cent in January. A total of 2,312 fewer units were sold compared to the same period last year. With much of the UK plunged into further Covid-related restrictions from January, the “weariness of the marketplace” may have contributed to the drop in motorcycle and scooter sales, respectively down -43 per cent and -22 per cent.
The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market enjoyed growth in the first month of the year, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Registrations rose 2.0 per cent in January with 24,029 of the latest, low emission vehicles hitting UK roads as new models and deals drove fleet renewal. Although the fluctuating nature of fleet renewal often impacts the first month of the year in particular, 2021 opened with the highest volume January since 1990, 10.5 per cent ahead of five-year average.
January proved to be a traumatic month for new car sales in the UK, as the market fell -39.5 per cent in the month with 59,030 fewer registrations compared to January last year, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Just 90,249 cars were registered as showrooms across the country remained shut, leading to the worst start to the year since 1970.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations ended 2020 down -20.0 per cent, with the van market rounding off the year in decline following three months of growth. 292,657 vehicles were registered in 2020, as the impact of Covid and uncertainty over the future relationship with the EU brought down demand toward the end of the year, with registrations in the final month of the year dropping -1.0 per cent, albeit with volumes consistent with previous Decembers.
While van manufacturers have been both developing their electric portfolios and sustaining a double-digit sales contraction in a pandemic affected market, the picture for van tyre suppliers is certainly not as hostile. As we will see in this feature, the requirements of e-commerce and electric vehicles are providing new impetus to van tyre suppliers in the medium term. But 2020 UK figures generated by market data analyst GfK’s Point of Sales Tracking show that the segment is faring better than many with the travails of this year. At the same time, several trends are coalescing to improve the fortunes of van tyre suppliers.
Our virtual Tyre Industry Conference, in association with the National Tyre Distributors Association and supported by CAM, is available now. Click here to go to our conference page. The conference comprises four videos on Tyre Market Data, Tyre Standards, end of Life Tyres, and Tyre Recycling. If you would like to comment on any of the contents, use our social media pages and the hashtag #TIC2020, or email email@example.com.
Does size matter? Today’s cars are more than 63% bigger
Cars are getting bigger, there’s no doubt about it, and it seems UK infrastructure can’t keep up with our ever-growing vehicles, leaving drivers in a spot of bother on the roads. To find out just how much cars are expanding, Zuto analysed 14 of the UK’s most popular cars to see the difference in size in comparison to the original versions.