Tag Archives: Cars

UK new car market declines in September

car-manufacturingDemand for new cars declines in September as consumer and business confidence falls

 

  • UK new car market falls for sixth consecutive month in September – down -9.3% to 426,170 units.
  • First time the important September market has fallen in six years.1
  • Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles continues to accelerate, up 41.0% last month, while petrol falls -1.2% and diesel declines -21.7%.

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The UK new car market declined for a sixth consecutive month in September, with 426,170 new units registered, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Registrations fell by -9.3% in this key month, as economic and political uncertainty, and confusion over air quality plans led to a fall in consumer confidence.

Demand from business, fleet and private buyers all fell in September, down -5.2%, -10.1% and -8.8% respectively. Meanwhile, registrations fell across all body types except dual-purpose, which grew 2.4%. The biggest declines were seen at opposite ends of the market with both luxury saloons and superminis falling -36.4% and 21.2% respectively.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued to accelerate in September however, surging 41.0% in the month and 34.6% year-to-date, with nearly 95,000 leaving forecourts this year. However, this couldn’t compensate for declines in registrations of petrol cars, down -1.2%, and, especially, diesel which fell for the sixth consecutive month, down -21.7%.

Confusion surrounding air quality plans has inevitably led to a drop in consumer and business demand for diesel vehicles, which is undermining the roll out of the latest low emissions models and thwarting the ambitions of both industry and government to meet challenging CO2 targets. Indeed, if new diesel registrations continue on this negative trend, UK average new car CO2 levels could actually rise this year, the first time such an increase would have occurred since average CO2 emissions were recorded.2 So far this year 485,067 diesel vehicles have been produced in the UK, and maintaining strong demand for the latest new diesel vehicles is essential for the health of the UK automotive sector that employs over 814,000 people.

Year-to-date, new car registrations have fallen -3.9%. But, overall, the market remains at a historically high levels with over 2 million vehicles hitting UK roads so far this year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

September is always a barometer of the health of the UK new car market so this decline will cause considerable concern. Business and political uncertainty is reducing buyer confidence, with consumers and businesses more likely to delay big ticket purchases. The confusion surrounding air quality plans has not helped, but consumers should be reassured that all the new diesel and petrol models on the market will not face any bans or additional charges. Manufacturers’ scrappage schemes are proving popular and such schemes are to be encouraged given fleet renewal is the best way to address environmental issues in our towns and cities.

UK new car market achieves record 2.69 million registrations in 2016 with fifth year of growth

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  • Highest ever number of new cars demanded by UK customers, with 2,692,786 registered in 2016, up 2.3% on previous year.
  • Wide choice of new car models and affordable finance deals drives market to new high with fifth consecutive year of growth.
  • December only the second month of negative growth in 2016, as registrations dip -1.1% to 178,022 units.

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 today by SMMT. The market has experienced uplifts in 10 out of the last 12 months, albeit finishing with a December down slightly by -1.1% – with 178,022 new cars registered in the month.

Buyers were attracted by a range of new car models and attractive finance deals, pushing registrations up to 2,692,786 in 2016 – up 2.3% on the previous year and broadly in line with expectations. The UK new car market is one of the most diverse in the world, with some 44 brands offering nearly 400 different model types – and 2017 looks set to be another competitive year with almost 70 new launches already planned over the next 12 months.

Fleets were responsible for most of the growth, with demand growing to a record 1.38 million units. The private market remains at a historically high level, with more than 1.2 million private buyers registering a new car in 2016, although demand did fall over the latter three quarters. The competitive range of affordable finance is a crucial factor driving private demand as consumers are able to take advantage of low interest rates and flexible payment options.

Diesel and petrol cars continued to be by far the most popular fuel types for consumers with market share at 47.7% and 49.0% respectively. However, alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) experienced a strong uplift in demand, up 22.2% across the year. Plug-in hybrids and petrol electric hybrids, in particular, experienced significant growth, with demand up 41.9% and 25.1% respectively. Meanwhile, more than 10,000 motorists chose to go fully electric in 2016 – up 3.3% on 2015.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said

Despite 2016’s political and economic uncertainties, the UK’s new car market delivered another record performance as car makers offered an incredible range of innovative and high tech models. 2017 may well be more challenging as sterling depreciation raises the price of imported goods but, with interest rates still at historic lows and a range of new models arriving in 2017, there are still many reasons for consumers to consider a new car in 2017. Looking longer term, the strength of this market will rest on our ability to maintain our current trading relations and, in particular, avoid tariff barriers which could add significantly to the cost of a new car.

Source: SMMT

 

Over 2 million registrations so far in 2016 as 66-plate drives new car market

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  • 469,696 new cars registered in plate-change September – a steady rise of 1.6% and the highest September on record.
  • Increased demand for diesels and alternatively fuelled vehicles, up 2.8% and 32.6% respectively.
  • Year-to-date total registrations grow 2.6%, with more than 2 million units registered so far this year.

The UK new car market remained steady in September, rising 1.6%, according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 469,696 cars were registered, as buyers purchased the new 66-plate.

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The performance marks the highest September on record, while the total number of cars registered so far this year also grew to  2,150,495 units – up 2.6% compared with the same period last year. It is only the second time that the two million mark has been passed in September since 2004.1

Fleet registrations continued to drive growth, up 7.3%, while registrations to private motorists experienced a small decline, down -1.7% to 223,844 units in the month. Meanwhile, diesel registrations rose 2.8% as petrols declined
-1.1%. Alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to outpace the market, up 32.6% against the same month last year with a market share of 3.4%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

September is always one of the biggest months for Britain’s new car market. The new 66-plate, combined with a diverse range of exciting new models featuring the latest technology, has certainly helped draw buyers into showrooms and many are taking full advantage of the attractive deals and low interest financing options on offer. Business and consumers place September orders many months in advance, so the ability of the market to maintain this record level of demand will depend on the ability of government to overcome political uncertainty and safeguard the conditions that underpin consumer appetite.

 

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  1.  September 2015 recorded 2,096,886 units registered, the first time the 2 million mark was passed in September since 2004.

Source: SMMT

Apple says car is the “ultimate mobile device”

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Apple dropped the biggest hint yet of its ambitions to transform the automobile industry after its SVP of operations Jeff Williams proclaimed the car as the “ultimate mobile device”.

Speaking at the Code Conference, Williams said Apple is exploring “all kinds of categories where we can make a difference”, after being quizzed on stage about how the company plans to spend its growing cash load, which is nearing $200 billion, reports the Financial Times.

Apple’s biggest foray in the connected car space so far has been to launch CarPlay, an interactive system that displays iPhone content on a car dashboard.

However, rumours emerged earlier this year that the company was thinking bigger, with reports suggesting that Apple had established a secret team to work with car makers and automotive supplier towards creating an electric vehicle.

Apple, which has already transformed music players, phones and watches into portable devices that connect to the internet, had not directly shown an interest into entering the space, until Williams’ latest comments.

His hint has since been likened to CEO Tim Cook’s comments in 2013 that the “wrist is interesting and natural”, before the company went on to unveil the Apple Watch a year later.

Also at the Code Conference, Mary Barra, General Motors CEO, said the car giant will be deploying connected car technology from Apple and Google to a fleet of 14 Chevrolet models later this year.

In the keynote, Barra too talked up the potential for transformation in automobiles, claiming that “the industry is poised for more change in the next five to 10 years than it’s seen in the past 50”.

Ford and Hyundai have also revealed plans to build CarPlay into some of their vehicles later this year.

Source: Kavit Majithia Mobile World Live

 

Ford intelligent speed will stop you getting a speeding ticket ever again

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Ford has announced that its new SMax will come with its first Intelligent Speed Limiter system that aims to stop drivers being stung with ticket charges.

This smart limiter is far cleverer than cruise control. The driver sets a limit and then as the car recognises speed signs on the road it changes the limit to suit. This works in conjunction with sat nav data for those cars that have that built-in also.

So how does it limit speed? It won’t ever use the brake but rather limits the amount of fuel being fed to the engine, a bit like taking the foot off the accelerator. Should the car speed up over the limit on a downhill it will emit an alarm so the driver knows to apply the brakes.

The Intelligent Speed Limiter can, of course, be turned off. But it can also be overridden while driving by pressing the accelerator down fully to get a burst of speed if, for whatever reason, you need to break the speed limit.

This sounds like a great option to have if you know you’re a bit too easily tempted to slip over the speed limit, especially when driving in a new area. The local limit will be displayed in the car’s dash so if you missed a sign you can rest easy knowing the car didn’t.

This is the first time Ford’s Adjustable Speed Limiter and Traffic Sign Recognition systems found in the Focus, Mondeo and Kuga have been combined in one car.

The Ford S-Max with Intelligent Speed Limiter is available to order now from £23,310.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3qmtEGGlOo&feature=player_embedded

Source: Pocket-Lint