Market conditions remain challenging in October
Newly released figures for October showed that a total of 68,337 cars were registered to fleets – a decline of 6.3% compared to October 2009.
Meanwhile the retail market saw registrations plummet 35.8% to 57,720, reflecting the ending of the scrappage scheme, which was in effect this time last year, as well as a downturn in consumer confidence. October's decline in private registrations now means that fleet sales have a 52% share of the new car market.
Registrations to the sub 25 market decreased more moderately, with the figure of 5,638 units down by 12.6% on the total for October 2009.
Year to date, the picture was more rosy. Fleet registrations are up 11.1% on the first ten months of 2009 at 839,798 units. Meanwhile private and small fleet sales only showed small declines of 0.3% and 0.5% respectively.
The SMMT has said that total new car registrations in 2010 are forecast to be 2.026 million units, 1.5% up on 2009. Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, commented: 'The industry expects the coming months to be challenging with slow, but steady, economic growth feeding through to improved confidence and demand during 2011.'
David Raistrick, automotive partner at Deloitte, added his comments: 'While it is virtually certain that the industry will exceed the two million unit mark in 2010, 2011 is going to be a very tough year. With consumer and business confidence still unsettled, private sales are likely to remain flat or even decline and the corporate sector is unlikely to invest heavily in fleet cars. A drop-off in new vehicle sales during 2011 to closer to the 1.8 million unit mark looks likely.'