Deloitte & NFDA: Commentary on strong April registration figures
David Raistrick, UK Manufacturing Leader at Deloitte, said: 'The fairly significant increase in new car registrations during April 2012, compared to the same time last year, comes as a surprise. This is good news for the industry, particularly in light of last week’s announcement that the UK has fallen back into recession after a 0.2% contraction in UK growth. While this increase in sales, the largest so far this year, could indicate the market is stabilising, retailers remain cautious.
'With regards to Fleet sales, levels have generally been maintained, but companies are going to be making difficult decisions in the coming months with potentially lower levels of fleet sales being seen in Q3. On the finance side, a range of new financial products are still available for the private buyer, however; providers are becoming much more stringent with their checks and balances to manage risk.
'From manufacturers’ point of view, prospects are not looking equally positive. The latest PMI figures released this week highlighted the manufacturing industry barely grew in April as weaker overseas demand hits new export orders – making a good case for those who are losing confidence in the sector. Considering the manufacturing industry accounts for about 11% of the UK economy, this is likely to have a significant impact across the supply chain. The single biggest concern facing this sector today is the huge skills gap and competition for talent. A report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte released last week indicated 10m global manufacturing jobs are unfilled because of this skills gap and, regardless of manufacturing companies’ willingness to recruit; the quality of applications is a big concern,' he added.
Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, commented: 'Members remain concerned due to the light footfall around the dealerships, though a higher number of customer visits are being converted into actual sales. Retail customers are showing an increase in preference for good value vehicles and this is being reflected in the vehicles they are choosing to buy.'