Tag Archives: UK Car Sales

Record month for UK new car market as 16 plate-change increases demand

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  • New car market grows 5.3% in March as more than half a million buyers take advantage of popular plate change.
  • Registrations increase 5.1% in 2016 Q1, to 771,780 units.
  • Alternative fuel vehicles see 21.5% jump in demand, with robust growth in diesel and petrol registrations.

Wednesday 6 April, 2016 The UK’s new car market grew by 5.3% in March, making it the biggest ever month since the bi-annual plate change began in 1999, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

518,707 new cars were registered in March, only the third time the market has surpassed half a million units in a single month. The month rounded off a record quarter, in which more than 770,000 new cars were registered – a 5.1% increase over the first quarter in 2015.

Demand for alternative fuel vehicles showed a notable increase of 21.5% in the month, as consumers continued to favour lower emission vehicles with lower running costs. Registrations of both diesel and petrol cars increased, meanwhile, with respective uplifts of 4.8% and 4.7%.

Growth was seen across all sales types in March: private and business registrations increased 3.8% and 15.3% respectively, while in the fleet sector demand grew 6.0%, reversing small declines seen in January and February as buyers sought to maximise residual values by opting for the new March number plate.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The sector’s strong growth in March rounds off a robust first quarter as British consumers continue to demonstrate their appetite for new cars, especially ultra-low emission vehicles. This consumer confidence should see registrations remain at a high but broadly stable level over the year but could be undermined by political or economic uncertainty.”

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Car Feb_best sellers

Download the March 2016 new car registrations news release and data table.

More than half of UK’s new cars sold with autonomous safety technology

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More than half of UK’s new cars now sold with autonomous safety tech, finds SMMT

Data from SMMT and JATO Dynamics shows that more than half of new cars registered in 2015 were fitted with safety-enhancing collision warning systems, with other technologies such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitoring also surging in popularity.

Semi-autonomous vehicle technology not only eases the task of driving, but importantly, has the potential to reduce significantly the risk of serious accidents. And it is appearing on increasing numbers of cars being sold today.

Technologies that are rapidly becoming more commonplace include collision warning systems, which monitor the space ahead of the car using radar and cameras to provide obstacle warnings. These were fitted to 58.1% of Britain’s record new car market in 2015 – whether as standard or a cost option. In contrast, just five years ago collision warning featured on only 6.8% of new cars registered.

Autonomous emergency braking, which automatically applies the brakes to avoid or reduce the effects of an impact should the driver fail to react, was fitted to more than 1 million (39%) of all new cars registered – with 18% of buyers getting the safety tech as standard.

Blind spot monitoring was a feature of more than a third of new cars, while adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts the car’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead, was fitted to almost a third (31.7%) of new cars registered, either as standard or an option. Just five years ago, less than 10% of new cars were available with this technology.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Fully driverless cars are still a long way off from everyday use, but this data shows advanced autonomous technology is already making its way into the majority of new cars. Connected and autonomous cars will transform our society – vastly improving safety and reducing congestion and emissions – and will contribute billions to the economy. The UK is already earning a reputation as a global development hub in this field, thanks to significant industry and government investment, and the ability to trial these cars on the roads right now.”

A report commissioned by SMMT last year found that serious accidents could fall by more than 25,000, saving 2,500 lives every year by 2030, as a result of driverless vehicle technology.2 Besides improving safety, these cars also offer the scope to reduce congestion-induced stress, providing drivers with more free time and allowing them to be more productive. It is estimated that the annual saving to consumers by the end of the next decade could be as high as £40 billion, with motorists able to multi-task while behind the wheel, get to their destinations more quickly and save money on fuel, insurance and parking.

The motor industry is investing heavily in the new technologies that will make fully autonomous and connected vehicles possible. In the UK in particular, it is forecast that by 2030 the development, production and use of these systems could provide up to 320,000 new jobs and give an annual boost to the economy of £51 billion.

 

Semi-autonomous safety technology on new cars registered in 2015

Connected tech table

Source: SMMT

 

Strong start to the year for UK car manufacturing with best January since 2008

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  • UK car production grows 8% in January, with 137,552 vehicles built.
  • Strong overseas demand drives output, lifting exports 9.7%.
  • 31,111 cars built for home market, with production for UK buyers up 2.5%.

UK car manufacturing got off to a strong start in 2016 with output in January up 8% compared with the same month last year, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 137,552 cars were produced in the month – the best January performance for eight years.

Increased foreign demand for British-built cars saw manufacturing for export grow for the sixth consecutive month with volumes up 9.7%. Meanwhile, production for UK customers grew 2.5% – an indication of the strong state of the domestic market.

Car Manufacturing table

The performance follows a record year for exports in 2015, with total car production reaching 1.6 million – the highest in a decade.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “January’s figures mark an encouraging start to the year for the UK car industry, following an impressive 2015. We expect output to continue growing in the coming years as the industry benefits from continuing investment, but much will depend on global economic and political conditions and consumer confidence.”

Source: SMMT

Best year in a decade for British car manufacturing as exports reach record high

  • UK car manufacturing reaches 10-year high, growing 3.9% to 1,587,677 vehicles.
  • More cars exported than ever before, up 2.7% on previous year at 1,227,881.
  • Domestic production surges 8.1% to 359,796 to meet increasing demand for British-built cars.
  • EU demand grows 11.3%, with 57.5% of exports destined for the continent.
  • US overtakes China as UK’s largest export destination, with demand up by a quarter.

21 January 2016 British manufacturers made more cars in 2015 than any year since 2005 when 1,595,697 vehicles were produced, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Production increased 3.9% on 2014, with output at 1,587,677 overtaking pre-recession levels for the first time.1

A record number of cars – representing 77.3% of total production – was for export, with 1,227,881 units leaving the UK, up 2.7% on 2014 levels. Challenges were experienced in some global markets such as China, where demand fell by 37.5%, and Russia, where export volumes declined 69.4%. However, the economic recovery in Europe, the UK’s biggest trading partner, boosted demand for UK-built cars considerably by 11.3% in 2015. The region now accounts for 57.5% of all UK car exports.

IN 2015, 77.3% OF CARS BUILT IN THE UK WERE EXPORTED

SMMT car exports 2015_without text

THE UK EXPORTS TO MORE THAN 100 COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE

Appetite for British-built cars grew significantly in other key and emerging regions, demonstrating the strength and diversity of UK manufacturing and product. In the US, demand rose by more than a quarter (26.5%), making it the UK’s biggest trading destination outside the EU, ahead of China. Meanwhile, notable growth was also seen in Australia, South Korea, Turkey and Japan with volumes up 53.7%, 55.2%, 41.1% and 35.4% respectively.

British consumer and business demand for British-made cars also contributed to last year’s success, with the home car market rising 8.1% on the previous year. One in seven new cars registered in the UK in 2015 was made in Britain.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Despite export challenges in some key markets such as Russia and China, foreign demand for British-built cars has been strong, reaching record export levels in the past year. Achieving these hard fought for results is down to vital investment in the sector, world class engineering and a committed and skilled UK workforce – one of the most productive in the world.

“Continued growth in an intensely competitive global marketplace is far from guaranteed, however, and depends heavily on global economic conditions and political stability. Europe is our biggest trading partner and the UK’s membership of the European Union is vital for the automotive sector in order to secure future growth and jobs.”

UK CAR MANUFACTURING (millions)

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said, “Backing Britain’s car industry has been a priority for this government and today we see the industry going from strength to strength.

“I am hugely encouraged that manufacturing is at a 10-year high and exports ‎are at a record level. All this means jobs and the security of a pay packet for workers and their families.

“Our plans to rebalance the economy mean we have to continue to build on our great manufacturing strengths in the Midlands and the North of England, and work together to ensure that Britain continues to prosper as a global leader in car production.”

The performance of UK automotive is very different compared with UK manufacturing as a whole, according to Office for National Statistics figures, which show  the average manufacturing output to have slowed in recent months.2 Eight brand new car models3 were produced in UK plants in 2015, and with £2.5 billion of fresh investment committed to the sector in 2015, more are set to follow in the coming months.

Table_manufacturing15

 

Source: SMMT

 

New car registrations return to growth in November

 

 

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  • UK new car market picks up in November after October fall, with registrations up 8% in the month.
  • 2,453,426 cars registered in the year-to-date – an increase of 2%over the same period last year.
  • Steady growth seen in both petrol and diesel registrations, while an6% rise keeps alternatively fuelled vehicles ahead of the curve.

Following October’s decline – the first in 44 months – registrations of new cars in the UK returned to growth in November, according to figures released today by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

178,876 cars were registered in the month, an increase of 3.8% over November 2014, while the overall market in the first 11 months of 2015 has seen 6.2% growth to 2,453,426 units.

Demand for both petrol and diesel models remains robust with respective gains of 3.8% and 3.6%, while the popularity of alternatively fuelled vehicles continues to grow with an 8.6% uplift. Registrations to fleet buyers (up 8.7%) increased ahead of those to private customers (up 2%), continuing a trend that has been evident for several months.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “November’s figures come as a reminder of the strength of the UK car market, as low interest rates and competitive finance deals continue to attract consumers to new car ownership. We have been expecting a levelling-off in demand for some time now – a development that is being realised following an unprecedented three-and-a-half years of non-stop growth.”

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Download the November 2015 new car registrations news release and data table.

Source: SMMT

UK car manufacturing hits six-year high

Car production rose 3.1% in 2013 to surpass 1.5 million units – the highest volume since 2007.

  • Industry analysts predict output to reach record levels of around two million units by 2017.
  • UK could become the third largest car manufacturer in Europe.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “2013 demonstrated the value of the UK’s diverse car manufacturing industry, as surging home demand and robust exports outside Europe saw output grow 3.1% to over 1.5 million units. UK automotive investment announcements exceeded £2.5 billion in 2013, reinforcing industry analysts’ suggestions that the UK could break all-time car output records within the next four years.”


UK car manufacturing (selected years with AutoAnalysis forecasts 2014-2017)

Note: 1972 is currently the record year for car output (1.92 million cars)
Manufacturing graph 1

Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “Today’s figures are another sign that the British car industry is going from strength to strength – with one vehicle rolling off a production line somewhere in the UK every 20 seconds.

“Our success lies in the appetite from countries around the world for British cars. Around 80% of the 1.5 million cars we produced last year were exported – a testament to the diverse, high quality of British manufacturing.

“It also highlights the benefits of industry and government working together and we want to continue this partnership through a long-term strategy. This will give businesses the confidence to invest, speed up development on vehicles of the future and keep the UK as a world leader in cars. Our investment of £1bn jointly with industry will help do this, while also delivering jobs and driving growth.”

 

Dec 13 Car graph


UK car exports – to EU and other destinations, 2009-2013 (*2013 is Q1-3 only)

Manufacturing graph 2

 

Since 2009, the variety of cars produced in the UK has been underlined by a marked change in export destinations.

While the European market has struggled with tough economic conditions, overall export volumes have been bolstered by strong growth in demand for UK-built cars in other locations.


Top five non-EU export destinations, 2009-2013 (*2013 is Q1-3 only)

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China’s share of exports has grown rapidly over recent years, and the country now looks set to become the largest non-EU market for UK-built cars.

Take-up in the United States remained strong last year, and while Russia has seen volumes fall since 2012, it is now firmly established as a key export destination.

Source: SMMT

Car manufacturing tops one million units for 2013

Car manufacturing tops one million units for 2013

  • Strong September drives 2013 UK car production to 1,125,433 units, up 3.9% on 2012.
  • 140,888 cars built in September, 9.9% ahead of 2012.
  • Rolling 12-month output hits 1.5 million for first time since October 2008.
  • Buoyant UK demand helps boost growth as exports rise 9.3% in the month.                        

“Boosted by strong domestic demand, September’s 9.9% rise in car manufacturing reinforces how the sector is one of the UK’s biggest success stories of recent years,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “This year alone, more than £2.6 billion has been committed across the UK automotive sector, from the supply chain to global car manufacturing brands. This long-term financial commitment and robust demand for UK-built products demonstrate the global appetite for high-quality, desirable products borne of the UK’s world-class design, R&D and engineering.”

Sep 13 Cars chart

Sep 13 Cars

 

 

September continues CV manufacturing decline

 

  • CV output continues downward trend, dropping 27.5% in September to 6,963 units.
  • 67,609 CVs produced in year-to-date, down 17.9% from 2012.
  • Weak Eurozone demand and earlier domestic restructuring contributes to decline. 

“CV production remained subdued in September, with continuing uncertainty in the EU and restructuring of UK operations,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “While the overall market is striving against tough conditions, there remains cause for optimism in some areas, with the truck sector out-performing the market in September.”

Sep 13 CV chart

Sep 13 CV

 

September engine output growth fuelled by exports

 

  • 230,743 engines manufactured in September, up 8.3% on last year.
  • Year-to-date growth of 1.2% sees UK engine output approach two million units for 2013.
  • Production for home market up 8.2% in year-to-date, while weaker September offset by export boost.

Sep 13 Eng 2

Sep 13 Eng