• New car registrations grow for 20 months
  • New car registrations up 4% to 157,314 in October
  • Year to date up 10.2% to 1,952,238
  • SMMT hikes new car forecast from 2.22m to 2.25m units for 2013
  • Market set to stabilise and grow at around 1% in 2014 and 2015.

New car registrations in the UK have now grown for 20 months and October's 4% rise to 157,314 and year to date rise of 10.2% to 1,952,238 units has prompted the SMMT to raise its forecast. Commercial vehicle sales have also risen.

It now expects 2.25m unit sales for 2013, up from 2.22m and sees the market "set to stabilise and grow at around 1% in 2014 and 2015".

“With October new car registrations up we have now seen 20 consecutive months of growth," said chief executive Mike Hawes.

"These sustained rises have been driven by robust private demand, a trend that has given us the confidence to raise our year-end forecast to 2.25m units – 10% ahead of last year. Looking ahead, we anticipate more moderate growth as the market stabilises.”

The UK market has seen a shift from traditional family cars (particularly the upper medium segment) towards smaller vehicles (eg Ford Fiesta), as well as MPV (eg Vauxhall Zafira) and Dual Purpose (eg Kia Sportage) vehicles between 2003 and 2013.

Ever greater emphasis on fuel efficiency, emissions and running costs, coupled with the greater refinement, performance and specification of smaller cars, has driven the trend for downsizing.

Increased choice, comfort and safety, as well as improved functionality, have enabled the market mix to evolve over time.

The supermini segment remains largest by volume, while dual purpose has seen the largest growth in market share.

John Leech, KPMG’s UK Head of Automotive, said: “Today’s numbers suggest that the tremendous growth we have seen in the UK new car market over the last few months is starting to return to a more sustainable growth path. And for the first time in over a year, the three other main European markets have had a similar experience, with new registrations in Germany growing by 2%, France by 3% while registrations in Italy fell by 5% due to a VAT increase taking effect.

“This slower pace of growth seems much more sustainable especially considering the potential impact the huge growth rates in new car registrations might have on used car prices. One feature of the recent increase in new car retail sales has been the availability of cheap finance from car manufacturer-funded personal car plans (PCPs). Cars sold on a PCP tend to churn faster as they approach their third birthday as consumers are faced with the choice of a large balloon payment to retain the vehicle or a replacement new car on another PCP.  It is hoped that a slower pace of new car sales will avert a used car price crash such as the one seen in 2008.

“With improving UK economic conditions and rising house prices having a positive impact on consumer confidence we continue to forecast that strong private demand will see new car registrations grow by 5% in 2014 and beyond.”

Commercial vehicle registrations were up strongly in October, rising 27.3% to 27,578 units in the month.

Year to date sales rose 9.8% to 266,934 units.

In October, vans rose 26.3% with 22,473 registrations and posted YTD growth of 11% to 227,477.

Truck demand - a good measure of economic activity - grew 32% in the month with 5,105 registrations; year to date volumes returned to growth, 3.2% ahead of 2012 at 39,457 units.

"Both the van and truck markets showed great strength in October boosting the sector by 27.3% and taking the 2013 growth rate to almost 10%," said Nigel Base, SMMT commercial vehicle manager.

"We anticipated this late strength in the truck market and SMMT has raised its forecast for van registrations to 264,100 a 10.2% rise on last year."

Show the press release

SMMT NEW CAR REGISTRATIONS
6 November 2013 (data for October 2013)                                                                                                            
 
New car registrations grow for 20 months as SMMT ups forecast

New car registrations hit 157,314 in October, an increase of 4.0%.

  • Registrations for 2013 to-date climb 10.2% to 1,952,238 units.
  • SMMT new car forecast raised from 2.22 million to 2.25 million units for 2013, with the market set to stabilise and grow at around 1% in 2014 and 2015.
  • Private market continues to drive total volumes up, with 4.5% gain in October and 15.7% increase over year-to-date.

“With October new car registrations up we have now seen 20 consecutive months of growth," said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. "These sustained rises have been driven by robust private demand, a trend that has given us the confidence to raise our year-end forecast to 2.25 million units – 10% ahead of last year. Looking ahead, we anticipate more moderate growth as the market stabilises.”

October Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
               
2013 157,314 83,751 70,611 2,952 71,235 77,880 8,199
2012 151,252 78,507 70,539 2,206 68,187 77,746 5,319
% change 4.0% 6.7% 0.1% 33.8% 4.5% 0.2% 54.1%
Mkt share '13   53.2% 44.9% 1.9% 45.3% 49.5% 5.2%
Mkt share '12   51.9% 46.6% 1.5% 45.1% 51.4% 3.5%
               
Year-to-date Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
               
2013 1,952,238 962,503 961,611 28,124 940,659 920,111 91,468
2012 1,771,861 895,943 851,652 24,266 813,133 881,210 77,518
% change 10.2% 7.4% 12.9% 15.9% 15.7% 4.4% 18.0%
Mkt share '13   49.3% 49.3% 1.4% 48.2% 47.1% 4.7%
Mkt share '12   50.6% 48.1% 1.4% 45.9% 49.7% 4.4%
               
Best sellers October          Year-to-date
               
  1 Fiesta 8,574   1 Fiesta 104,621
  2 Corsa 5,155   2 Focus 76,493
  3 Focus 5,069   3 Corsa 72,903
  4 Golf 4,562   4 Astra 57,758
  5 Astra 4,420   5 Golf 56,357
  6 Qashqai 3,579   6 Qashqai 44,649
  7 Juke 2,997   7 3 Series 37,066
  8 Insignia 2,719   8 1 Series 36,529
  9 500 2,672   9 Polo 36,362
  10 3 Series 2,582   10 208 34,253

 

  • The UK new car market has seen a shift from traditional family cars (particularly the Upper Medium segment) towards smaller vehicles (eg Ford Fiesta), as well as MPV (eg Vauxhall Zafira) and Dual Purpose (eg Kia Sportage) vehicles between 2003 and 2013.
  • Ever greater emphasis on fuel efficiency, emissions and running costs, coupled with the greater refinement, performance and specification of smaller cars, has driven the trend for downsizing.
  • Increased choice, comfort and safety, as well as improved functionality, have enabled the market mix to evolve over time.
  • Supermini segment remains largest by volume, while Dual Purpose has seen the largest growth in market share.

SMMT VAN AND TRUCK REGISTRATIONS


6 November 2013 (data for October 2013)             FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATE

October market rises 27.3% in strong month for vans and trucks

 
  • Total CV registrations up strongly in October, rising 27.3% to 27,578 units in the month.
  • The overall commercial vehicle market is up 9.8% for the year-to-date, at 266,934 units.
  • In October, vans rose 26.3% with 22,473 registrations and posted growth of 11% over the year so far with 227,477 registrations.
  • Truck demand grew 32% in the month with 5,105 registrations; year-to-date volumes returned to growth, 3.2% ahead of 2012 at 39,457 units.

 UK van and truck registrations: 2013 and % change on 2012

 
  October % change Year-to-date % change Rolling year % change
Vans 22,473 26.3% 227,477 11.0% 262,257 6.6%
Trucks 5,105 32.0% 39,457 3.2% 46,921 -0.9%
Total 27,578 27.3% 266,934 9.8% 309,178 5.4%
 

 
"Both the van and truck markets showed great strength in October boosting the sector by 27.3% and taking the 2013 growth rate to almost 10%," said Nigel Base, SMMT Commercial Vehicle Manager. "We anticipated this late strength in the truck market and SMMT has raised its forecast for van registrations to 264,100 a 10.2% rise on last year."

Original source: SMMT