Currently reading: Analysis: car sales meltdown
Another dismal month, SUVs and luxury brands hit hardest
2 mins read
6 November 2008

Detailed UK registration figures for October have just been released, with all but two manufacturers recording a dramatic reduction on the same period last year. Overall, the market fell by 23.05 per cent, but with November and December being relatively quiet months for new car sales, it’s clear that the total of sales for this year is going to be substantially down on 2007.>> Read Mike Duff's blog on the car market?The SMMT figures will make especially depressing reading for anyone who hoped that September’s dismal numbers marked the bottom of the slump. Luxury manufacturers have been hit particularly hard, with Bentley recording a 47.6 per cent drop over October 2007, the company registering just 87 cars. Porsche has dropped 38.3 per cent and Aston Martin is down by 33.0 per cent. Specialist SUV manufacturers Land Rover and Jeep have been particularly badly hit by the economic downturn, and the recent record fuel prices. Land Rover’s registrations declined by 57.9 per cent compared to last year, Jeep’s by 62.6 per cent.Among mainstream manufacturers, Renault has posted the most dramatic fall. Last October the company registered 9356 cars in the UK, this year it’s managed just 4328 in the same month – a 53.8 per cent fall. The company is also down 25 per cent on its year-to-date sales compared to last year. Mitsubishi and Peugeot have also had nightmares, down 47.2 per cent and 39.8 per cent respectively.Chrysler has pretty much ceased to be a volume brand in the UK, with sales falling by 75.8 per cent. The company registered just 138 cars in the UK in October.Among the premium makers, Audi has once again fared best – losing just 11.8 percent compared to October ’07 – following on from a slight increase in year-on-year sales in September. BMW has slid 12.2 per cent and Mercedes has slumped by 31.9 per cent.Among the carnage, good news is hard to find. Ford will be very pleased to have lost only 5.5 per cent over last October. Jaguar has continued to increase sales on the back of the XF launch, posting a 22.4 per cent increase, and Volvo has somehow managed to register 23.3 per cent more cars this October than it did last year.“October has proved another difficult month for the UK motor industry,” commented Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, “action is needed to help restore consumer confidence and encourage buyers back to showrooms.”

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Paul J 21 November 2008

Re: Analysis: car sales meltdown

rovamota wrote:
In any case, why buy new when there are plenty of used cars available at good prices.

The other reason is that all too often these days the new model looks ugly compared to the one it replaces. This is especially true of small cars that find it dificult to disguise the styling compromises demanded to meet pedestrian crash safety requirements on new designs. Couple that with the fact that cars are built to last longer without showing too much wear and tear, and we have a tricky situation for car manufacturers.

W124 21 November 2008

Re: Analysis: car sales meltdown

Maybe Volvo have taken some of the BMW/Merc/Audi share in these troubled times. Good recession motor the Volvo - reassuring, quiet, tough. Less obvious than the Germans but you can still show you're doing well enough to replace your motor... Maybe the German cars are just too flash and ugly now and people are retreating into Volvoland.

michael knight 21 November 2008

Re: Analysis: car sales meltdown

come come now chaps! maybe the delivery is somewhat harsh but under the bluster B.Wayne may have a point worth exploring; that of buying directly from the manufacturer, with servicing through franchised oem garages. Lets face it, the amount OEMS spend on ever more glamorous dealerships ain't coming from their pockets. We're paying them to sell us a car that we're buying...if you get my drift. That's primarily the reason that brokers are as cheap as chips.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The concept of parking cars in a garage and having a chap with a shiny smile sweet-talk customers is old-fashioned, frankly adversarial, and a little intimidating. We need to change the balance of power in the customer / OEM relationship...