Tag Archives: Mike Hawes

UK new car market reports slower August as more buyers await new 67-plate

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  • New car registrations fall -6.4% in August to 76,433.
  • AFV demand surges 58.3% as more motorists switch on to alternative powertrains.
  • Year-to-date market holds steady, down -2.4%, with 1.64 million cars joining British roads in 2017.

SEE CAR REGISTRATIONS BY BRAND

The UK new car market reported its fifth consecutive month of decline in August, according to figures published today by SMMT. Registrations fell -6.4%, after a record August in 2016.

However, with more than 76,000 new cars registered, the performance still represents the third biggest August in 10 years.1 Year to date, the market remained broadly in line with expectations, down -2.4%, with 1,640,241 new cars joining British roads in the first eight months.

Superminis and small family cars remained the most popular types in August, accounting for more than half (58.3%) of registrations. However, SUVs, larger family cars and executives were the only segments to grow, up 7.9%, 2.2% and 1.1% respectively.

Meanwhile, more people chose to get behind the wheel of an alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) than ever before in the month, accounting for a 5.2% share of the market.2 Demand for petrol hybrid and pure electric battery powered cars increased substantially, up 74.9% and 62.5%, while plug-in hybrid registrations rose 38.5%. Conventional petrols grew 3.8% and diesels fell -21.3%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

August is typically a quiet month for the new car market as consumers and businesses delay purchases until the arrival of the new number plate in September. With the new 67-plate now available and a range of new models in showrooms, we anticipate the continuation of what are historically high levels of demand.

Notes

  1. August 2016: 81,640; August 2015: 79,060; August 2007: 77,649
  2. The previous AFV record market share for August was 3.1% in 2016

Source: SMMT

 

British car manufacturing rebounds in July as new models hit production lines

  • UK car output rises 7.8% in July as manufacturers ramp up production with new models.
  • After seven months of decline in the domestic market, production increases 17.7% ahead of number plate change in September.
  • Year-to-date performance remains strong, with production passing the one million mark and in line with expectations.

British car manufacturing rose 7.8% in July, with 136,397 new units rolling off UK production lines, according to figures released today by SMMT. Major carmakers ramped up production for new and existing models in the month ahead of summer factory shutdowns, which provide an essential period for plant maintenance, upgrades and re-tooling.

Production for the UK bounced back in July, in readiness for the important September market, following seven successive months of decline, rising 17.7% – an increase of 4,490 units – while exports also grew by 5.3%. Cars made for overseas buyers represented nearly 80% of output in the month with 106,525 units shipped abroad, compared with 29,872 which stayed at home.

Year-to-date new car production remains solid and has now passed the one million mark, though showing a slight dip of -1.6% compared with 2016, in line with expectations. Since January, overseas customers have taken delivery of 78.8% of new cars made in Britain, with UK manufacturers now exporting cars to more than 160 different countries around the world.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

UK car production lines stepped up a gear in July, as usual bringing forward some production to help manage demand ahead of September and routine summer factory shutdowns. As the timing and length of these manufacturing pauses can shift each year, market performance comparisons for July and August should always be treated with caution, but as long as the economic conditions at home and abroad stay broadly stable we expect new car production to remain in line with expectations for the rest of 2017.

Source; SMMT

SMMT Brexit Update

 

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The latest round of negotiations over the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU began in earnest this week. Europe’s leaders have been clear that sufficient headway must be made on exit terms before talks on future trade can begin, so UK business will hope for swift and sure progress.

To that end, it is pleasing to see both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor meeting with industry groups this week. Commentators are beginning to see business as increasingly influential in any future agreement – as well they should. Business operations are often determined by EU rules and many firms are also well versed in the minutiae of trading within the EU and without.

Yesterday Theresa May’s new business advisory group met for the first time to discuss concerns around the UK’s withdrawal. Meanwhile, Phillip Hammond, speaking to the CBI on Monday, noted that Brexit is just one in a series of issues facing Europe and the Eurozone and called on businesses to stress the need for agreement on key issues to their continental colleagues and partners.

The truth is that those operating within global and European supply chains see the necessity of a deal most clearly. Therein much of the trouble could lie – the flow of goods across Britain and Europe will need to be maintained while clarity over regulation and continued participation in existing EU trade deals with key international markets must be assured. Yet more reason automotive must be considered a priority sector throughout the Brexit process.

SMMT continues to reiterate its priorities for Brexit and to advise government on the complex rules and regulations with which the motor industry must comply. More information on the industry position is available on our website at www.smmt.co.uk/brexit.

Britain’s trade with Europe will not cease. It’s competitveness, however, will be threatened. UK companies’ expertise and quality products will continue to attract global customers but the cost of those products and services is harder to forecast.

Soure: Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive

Carmakers call for transitional EU deal

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The government must secure a transitional Brexit deal to protect the future of the UK car industry, a trade group has said.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Britain was highly unlikely to reach a final agreement with the EU by the March 2019 deadline.

That meant carmakers could face a “cliff edge”, whereby tariff-free trade was sharply pulled away.

It warned the industry would suffer without a back-up plan in place.

The EU is by far the UK’s biggest automotive export market, buying more than half of its finished vehicles – four times as many as the next biggest market.

UK car plants also depend heavily on the free movement of components to and from the continent.

The SMMT said any new relationship with the EU would need to address tariff and non-tariff barriers, regulatory and labour issues, “all of which will take time to negotiate”.

“We accept that we are leaving the European Union,” said chief executive Mike Hawes.

“But our biggest fear is that, in two years’ time, we fall off a cliff edge – no deal, outside the single market and customs union and trading on inferior World Trade Organization terms.

“This would undermine our competitiveness and our ability to attract the investment that is critical to future growth.”

He called on the government to seek an interim arrangement, whereby the UK stayed in the single market and customs union until a new relationship was brokered.

UK car manufacturing generated £77.5bn of turnover last year and accounted for 12% of all goods exports, according to the trade group.

It added that almost a million people were employed across the wider automotive industry.

Source: BBC News

UK car manufacturing falls in April, but YTD output remains strongest for 17 years

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  • Car output falls 18.2% as Easter bank holiday results in fewer manufacturing days.
  • Year-to-date production rises 1.0% to almost 600,000 units – the highest level since 2000.
  • SMMT calls for the newly elected government to prioritise UK Automotive needs to secure future growth.

UK car manufacturing fell in April, according to figures released by SMMT. 122,116 cars were made in the month, a 18.2% decrease on April 2016, as the late Easter bank holiday affected production.

Despite the decline, year-to-date production remains strong with 593,796 cars made so far in 2017 – a 1.0% increase on the same period last year – reaching its highest level for the first four months of the year since 2000.

Demand from overseas buyers continues to drive growth, up 3.5% so far this year and offsetting a fall at home of 7.0%. In total 76.8% of all cars made in the UK since January have been shipped abroad, with the majority going into the EU.

The news comes as SMMT publishes its priorities for the next government following the general election in June. UK Automotive Priorities, Securing the Strength of the UK Automotive Industry 2017 – 2022 sets out what is required to ensure the ongoing success of a crucial sector that supports 814,000 jobs nationwide, one that has a turnover of £71.6 billion every year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

“Car production fell significantly in April due to the later Easter bank holiday weekend which reduced the number of active production days that month and also due to unplanned production adjustments. Overall, British car manufacturing remains in good health with the production outlook still very positive and significant new models due to go into UK production shortly. To guarantee future growth and investment into our industry and its vital supply chain, however, we need the next government to safeguard the conditions that have made us globally competitive, keeping us open and trading and delivering an ambitious industrial strategy for our sector.”

UK Automotive Priorities 2017- 2022

  1. A globally competitive business environment to support investment, growth and job creation.
  2. A new trading relationship with the EU which safeguards the interests of UK Automotive.
  3. An ambitious industrial strategy delivering for automotive as a strategic sector.
  4. A holistic strategy to support sustainable mobility and ULEV uptake.
  5. Effective policies to ensure the UK secures the benefits of digitalisation.

Download UK Automotive Priorities, Securing the Strength of the UK Automotive Industry 2017 – 2022 here.

Source: SMMT

Record first quarter for UK used car market

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  • 2.1 million used cars sold in the UK in Q1 2017, a 3.4% rise on 2016, and the highest Q1 on record.1
  • Growth seen across diesel, petrol and electric/hybrids, up 5.6%, 1.6% and 43.2%.
  • Mini segment sees biggest growth, up 13.2%, but supermini still has most sales with 728,145.

The UK used car market got off to a strong start in 2017 with a record number of vehicles sold in the UK in the first quarter, according to data released by SMMT. 2,133,956 used cars changed hands in the first three months of the year, 3.4% more than in 2016 resulting in the biggest-ever volume seen in Q1.

Diesel and petrol sales remained steady, with gains of 5.6% and 1.6% respectively. Of the 851,569 used diesel cars sold in Q1, one in five were the latest low emission Euro 6 models. More motorists also took advantage of the wide range of alternatively fuelled hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars entering the second hand market, with registrations rising 43.2% to 21,320 units. This segment accounted for 1.0% of the market, compared with 0.7% last year.

The supermini segment continued to be the most popular, accounting for more than a third of the used car market, however, the mini segment was the fastest growing – with sales up 13.2%.

While silver remained the best-selling colour at 463,959 sales, figures show its popularity may be fading with sales declining -2.1%. White cars saw the biggest growth, up 17.1%, with used car sales echoing trends seen in the new car market in recent years.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

A buoyant used car market combined with strong residual values is good news for the sector, with motorists benefitting from the wide range of models and high-tech safety and connected features entering the market. Diesel cars remain as popular as ever, with consumers now able to take advantage of the low emission Euro 6 diesels available in the used car market. It’s also positive to see sales of used electric and hybrid vehicles rise, reflecting what we have seen in the new car market. To ensure this growth is maintained and the benefits of low emission vehicles spread quickly throughout society, continued investment in infrastructure, incentives and a tax regime that encourages demand is essential.


Notes
1 SMMT used car sale records begin 2001. Second highest Q1 on record is 2016 with 2,063,674.

Greg Clark’s Vison for the UK to become an Innovator in Automotive Technology

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On Tuesday, less than two weeks after Business Secretary Greg Clark outlined his vision for the UK as a CAV test bed to an SMMT Connected audience, he joined Transport Minister John Hayes in announcing how £109 million will be invested to help create the next generation of cutting-edge vehicles.

Along with a significant financial commitment from industry, government has backed 38 connected, autonomous and low emission vehicle technology projects across Britain, through the CAV2, OLEV and Advanced Propulsion Centre funding competitions. As ever, the winners exemplify the diversity of R&D taking place within the UK. We eagerly await announcements for the CAV3 competition later this year.

The UK is already a hotbed of innovation and we want to be the destination of choice for the development and testing of connected, autonomous and low emission vehicles. Government collaboration and investment, combined with funding from industry, will help this technology flourish and the UK to reap substantial economic and social benefits.

Following last week’s news that diesel cars are proving more popular than ever, SMMT set out to put the record straight on their contribution to air quality, climate change and the functioning of the national economy and society. Delivering only one side of the argument does a disservice to consumers, who must make a decision about which vehicle is right for their driving needs. For many, especially those that cover high miles, the answer will still be a new, Euro 6 emissions standard diesel. These modern cars, which contribute greatly to reducing CO2 emissions, are the cleanest diesels ever produced and, importantly, they will not be subject to charges in the new London Ultra Low Emission Zone.

There remains much more to discuss for UK Automotive as the year goes on and Brexit negotiations begin. The SMMT International Automotive Summit, launched this week, sees a return to the stage of last year’s lively Brexit panel, including Chris Giles, Economics Editor at the FT, and Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute for Government. Further sessions will focus on supply chain and retail, as well as the ever-important topic of sustainability, coinciding with the 18th edition of SMMT’s annual Sustainability report. Make sure Tuesday 20 June 2017 is in your diary and then get your tickets here.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive
Follow @SMMT on Twitter

Source: Mike Hawes SMMT

 

17 year high for British car manufacturing as global demand hits record levels

  • 7 million cars built in the UK in 2016, an increase of 8.5% and the highest output for 17 years.
  • Exports at record levels for second consecutive year as more than 1.35 million cars shipped worldwide.
  • More than one in two cars exported to Europe, our single biggest trading partner, with demand up 7.5%.
  • Growth driven by multi billion pound investments in previous years – not post Brexit bounce.

UK car production achieved a 17-year high in 2016, according to the latest figures published by SMMT. 1,722,698 vehicles rolled off production lines last year from some 15 manufacturers,1 an 8.5% uplift on total production in 2015 – and the highest output since 1999.2

More cars are now being exported from Britain than ever before, the result of investments made over recent years in world-class production facilities, cutting-edge design and technology and one of Europe’s most highly skilled and productive workforces. Ten brand new car models began production in the UK last year, nine of them from premium brands which has helped make the UK the second biggest producer of premium cars after Germany and the third biggest car producer in Europe.3  Total committed investment annoncements in the automotive sector in 2016 were approximately £1.66 billion across a number of companies. This figure is down from  £2.5 billion in 2015.

Production growth was predominantly driven by overseas demand, with global appetite for British-built cars rising by 10.3% to an all-time high of 1,354,216 – a second consecutive annual record. Around eight out of every 10 cars manufactured in the UK is now exported, bound for one of 160 markets worldwide.

It was continuing economic recovery across Europe, however, that accounted for the bulk of the growth. Exports to the rest of the EU grew 7.5% to 758,680 and accounted for more than half of all UK car exports. Furthermore, Europe supplies the majority of components within UK-built vehicles, underlining the critical importance of tariff and barrier-free trade to future UK automotive production.

Growth was strong across a number of markets, notably the US – the UK’s biggest export destination after the EU – where demand rose by almost half (47.2%) meaning it now accounts for around 14.5% of all UK car exports. Notable uplifts were also seen in Turkey, Japan and Canada whilst China, third on the list of export markets, grew by a more modest 3.1% with 88,610 vehicles exported last year.

Domestic demand for UK built cars also grew last year, up 2.4% in the year, and the UK remains the second largest car market in Europe, again after Germany.4 One in seven new cars registered by UK buyers is now made in Britain, up from one in eight three years ago.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

The tremendous growth in UK production is testament to the global competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. High class engineering, advanced technology and a workforce committed to quality have helped turn around the industry, making the UK among the most productive places in Europe to make cars. Significant investment in new plants and products over the past few years has driven this growth, not a post-Brexit bounce. We want trade deals but they must be the right deals, not rushed deals. Failure to do so could damage UK automotive manufacturing beyond repair.

  1. The UK’s 15 manufacturing plants are owned by a range of independent and multi-national-owned companies: Aston Martin (Gaydon); Bentley (Crewe); Caterham (Dartford); Honda (Swindon); Jaguar Land Rover (Castle Bromwich, Solihull, Halewood); Lotus (Norwich); McLaren (Woking); Mini (Oxford); Morgan (Malvern); Nissan (Sunderland); Rolls Royce (Goodwood); Toyota (Burnaston); Vauxhall (Ellesmere Port).
  2. 1,799,004 cars were produced in the UK in 1999.
  3. New UK models starting production in 2016: Aston Martin DB11; Bentley Bentayga; Jaguar F-Pace; Infiniti Q30; Infiniti QX30; Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible; McLaren 540; McLaren 570; Rolls Royce Dawn; Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer.
  4. ACEA data for 2016.

SMMT statement in response to the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit

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SMMT has released a statement today, Tuesday 17 January 2017, in response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Brexit.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

The recognition by the Prime Minister of the importance of single market arrangements for the automotive sector is critical. We need government to deliver a deal which includes participation in the customs union to help safeguard EU trade, trade that is tariff-free and avoids the non-tariff and regulatory barriers that would jeopardise investment, growth and consumer choice. Achieving this will not be easy and we must, at all costs, avoid a cliff-edge and reversion to WTO tariffs, which would threaten the viability of the industry.

In December 2016 SMMT hosted a roundtable discussion chaired by David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, on the future for the UK automotive sector following Brexit. The event took place at SMMT’s headquarters in London and was also attended by John Hayes, Minster of State, Department for Transport and Nick Hurd, Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. You can read more about the discussion here.

Read more about the UK automotive sector’s relationship with Europe

Source: SMMT

 

Widest ever choice of listening for UK motorists as 2.3 million new car buyers tune into digital radio in 2016

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More than eight out of 10 new cars registered in 2016 featured the latest digital radios, according to figures published by SMMT. Last year, 2.28 million cars hit the roads with the kit fitted as standard – the first time the 2 million milestone has been reached.

Over the past five years, the number of newly registered cars factory fitted with digital radio has increased more than four-fold, thanks to major investment by manufacturers. In 2012, just over a quarter of new cars featured the systems as standard, compared with 84.5% in 2016. Motorists who opt for a car with DAB can now enjoy more than 400 digital radio stations.

The government has committed to switching off the UK’s analogue radio signal when DAB coverage reaches 50% of radio listeners, but no date has been set yet.1

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

With increasing numbers of DAB-enabled vehicle models on the market, and new car registrations at record levels,2 more car owners than ever before are now able to tune into digital radio as they drive.

While vehicle manufacturers have already shown they are committed to the digital revolution, the setting of a confirmed switch to digital date by government would considerably accelerate conversion of existing vehicles in use. This remains a sizeable job and, consequently, a significant opportunity for the aftermarket.

  1. Current share of all radio listening via digital platforms is 45.5%: RAJAR data, Q3 2016.
  2. A record 2,692,786 new cars were registered in the UK in 2016.

Source: SMMT

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