Both fleet and retail new car registrations rise in August
Fleet volumes continue to rise last month, with a total of 32,975 vehicles registered, up by 4.5% on August 2010. Registrations to the sub-25 small business sector were also up, with a 14.4% rise to 1,799 units.
However what was unexpected was a 10.7% rise in retail registrations following months of decline. As a result, the overall market rose for the first time since June 2010, up 7.3% to 59,346 units.
The rise in retail registrations actually led to a fall in market share for the fleet sector, which had been buoying up the new car market in recent months. For August the fleet share was down to 55.6% compared to 57.0% for August 2010. The share for business registrations rose slightly to 3.0% from 2.8%.
With overall registrations still down by 6.1% for the year to date, the SMMT said that the outlook for the new car market is set to remain challenging. It forecasts the full-year market to end on 1.93m units, a 5% decline on the 2010 market and down from the current 1.95m running rate.
However, the important month of September is shaping up to be promising, according to David Raistrick, UK manufacturing leader at Deloitte. He commented: ‘After nearly a year of falling sales, I expect September to mirror the August increase and we are likely to see numbers slightly up from last year. This is due to a number of different factors including several new models coming on stream, interest rates remaining low and a “tipping point” having now been reached – the point where it makes sense to buy new, with private consumers having held off for a considerable time. I also see the fleet market remaining firm in September. Adding to this, the manufacturers are continuing to do well with steady demand from external markets like Russia and China counteracting the slowdown in new car sales across Europe and North America.
‘Looking to the future, our forecast is for a good September with a rise over last year.’