UK: June sales down, year still up (just)
The June 2004 new car market in the UK was the second highest June on record with 239,077 registrations. This follows June 2003 which rose 15.8% on the previous year. This year's total was 23,752 units above the third highest June total and just 1,097 units below last year's record.
The strong June performance left registrations in the first half of 2004 up 2.2% at 1,376,567 units and on course to hit SMMT's full year forecast of 2.6 million units.
Both large fleet and business demand in June rose compared with 2003. The business sector reported a market share of 11.8% in the month, up from 10.3% a year ago. Over the first half of the year, large fleet and business volumes have increased by 16,894 and 17,447 respectively.
The market in the first six months of 2004 saw a 2.2% rise, despite a slight dip of 2.2% in the second quarter.
Interest rates have been edging upwards in recent months, but an extensive range of new models, attractive deals in the showroom and finance packages have seen continued consumer demand. The industry is confident of a fourth consecutive record new car market in 2004.
UK-built cars took 18.3% of the June market share with an 18.7% share over the year-to-date.
The Renault Mégane was the top selling diesel model in June - the first time since November 2003. Over the first half of the year the Ford Focus remained the top diesel model, just ahead of the Mondeo.
Within the overall market place, the Focus also topped the first half and June registrations - outselling all other ranges by some 35%.
Registrations of alternative fuelled vehicles continue to climb rapidly, up 16.3% over the year-to-date, to account for 1% of the total market share at 2,421 units.
Demand for new diesel cars rose for the 45th consecutive month in June. Despite a huge increase of 31.6% a year ago, the June 2004 market jumped a further 22.6% to 77,049 units, up 14,183 units.
Diesel models took their second highest ever market share in June, at 32.2%. Over the first half of the year their share has risen from 26.2 to 31.1%.
Over the first six months of 2004 the new car market totalled 1,376,567 units. This represents a 29,082 unit increase over the 2003 level.
The 2004 January-June market is also over 100,000 units higher than the average first half level of 1,274,000 units. This is since the twice-yearly plate change system was introduced.
The 2004 volume would represent 53% of the forecast 2.6 million unit market - in line with the share seen between 1999 and 2003.
UK Top 10 models YTD June 2004
1 Ford Focus 80,022
2 Vauxhall (Opel) Corsa 58,685
3 Peugeot 206 49,948
4 Ford Fiesta 48,125
5 Renault Mégane 44,582
6 Vauxhall (Opel) Astra 41,926
7 Renault Clio 41,790
8 Volkswagen Golf 36,110
9 Ford Mondeo 33,772
10 Peugeot 307 32,085