Deloitte reiterates forecast for stable car registrations in 2015
According to latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK car market was up 6.7% last month to 164,856 units from 154,562 at the start of 2014.
Registrations within the fleet sector rose 18.1% to 89,640 units from 75,929 for the same month in 2014. Meanwhile sub-25 “business” registrations also saw growth, albeit more muted, of 3.3% from 7,340 units to 7,580. In contrast private registrations fell 5.1%.
David Raistrick, UK automotive leader at Deloitte, said: ‘The UK new car market is closing in on three years’ worth of unbroken comparative growth with a positive start to 2015. With this trend originally having been largely supported by the private buyer, it will be interesting to see whether the initial reported growth in business related sales in January continues through 2015. Clearly, it is too early to confidently predict whether this will be the case. Yet with a number of new and refreshed models available aimed squarely at the fleet sector, it may well be that fleet will regain its position as the largest player in the new car market. There is also no sign of any reduction in overall levels of manufacturer support or low rate finance, which will also help the retail market to remain buoyant.
‘However, businesses may be casting a wary eye at the recent developments in the Eurozone. With the impact of the Greek election result still unclear, it is possible that the relatively positive messages coming from the Eurozone towards the end of 2014 may be undermined. Until there is some clarity as to what the effect on the European markets may be, UK businesses may hold off investing in fleet renewal programs until they are confident that there will not be a detrimental effect to the UK economy. Indeed, the recent Deloitte Chief Financial Officer survey found that CFO’s were becoming more risk averse, with deflation and weakness in the euro area a growing concern.
‘Overall, our prediction remains unchanged for 2015, with overall sales for the year unlikely to exceed 2014 levels.’