Industry analysts don't expect to see new car sales recover properly until 2011 at the earliest
4 December 2009

New car sales will not see year-on-year growth until at least 2011, according to industry analysts IHS Global Insight.

Sales have fallen from a peak in the middle of the decade of around 2.5 million units, to around 1.975m in 2009. Next year, IHS predicts UK new car sales will be 1.788m units before returning to around 2m units in 2011.

Colin Couchman, an analyst at IHS, told Autocar that the introduction of the 17.5 per cent VAT rate in January and the withdrawal of the country’s scrappage incentive scheme will hurt sales next year.

“The UK’s scrappage scheme hasn’t been as generous as others on the continent,” said Couchman. “So sales haven’t been as high as they could have been, but there’s still been lots of people buying cars this year to take advantage of the scheme and beat the VAT rise.”

Couchman said that of the 227,000 cars sold so far under scrappage, around 75,000 have been to people who would have bought cars next year instead if it hadn’t been for scrappage. “These people are now out of the market and the lack of their presence will hurt sales,” said Couchman.

Unless an incentive scheme is introduced to benefit the fleet sector, Couchman says it will continue to suffer until the economy picks up.

“Usually fleet sales stay at similar levels in a recession, but this time they’ve significantly dipped,” he said. “We’re not likely to see them rise again until the economy significantly recovers enough to boost consumer confidence.”

Couchman believes new car sales will return to “more normal” levels in 2013 and 2014, with sales expected to reach around 2.2m units. “We’re unlikely to see the highs of this decade for some while as people are going to be more cautious with their money from now on, holding onto their vehicles for longer,” he said.

Mark Tisshaw

Twitter - follow autocar.co.uk

Join the debate

Comments
4

4 December 2009

With scrapage finishing and VAT going back to 17.5%, it diesn't take a genius to work that one out!

4 December 2009

[quote Richard H]With scrapage finishing and VAT going back to 17.5%, it diesn't take a genius to work that one out![/quote]

May be not but you can guarantee that the government minister that came up with the scheme didn't think of it!!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 December 2009

- irrespective of anyone's thoughts of the scheme or its format they will have known re. the sales and the VAT

-the idea was to stimulate output on a global scale; it helps stimulate economies. i guess the risk was that by the time the car sales pick up the wider economy has recovered enough and thus as the car sales potentially reduce other sales pick up

- i guess the extension and the run up to christmas and VAT going up was no conicidence! - when would you change your car? 15% with scappage of 17.5% without?

-irrespective of what you think it has stimulated the UK economy and the gobal economy (we are the global village) its done that well - you really (genuinely) cannot argue any different; so it did its job! (without doubt! and not jsut here in the UK)

-also you will find (no doubt) that discounts will be offered next year by manufacturers and all the scappage scheme work helps not just this year but also next year.

4 December 2009

[quote CapsLock]irrespective of what you think it has stimulated the UK economy and the gobal economy (we are the global village) its done that well - you really (genuinely) cannot argue any different; so it did its job! (without doubt! and not jsut here in the UK) [/quote]

as ever, you are right, except for the facts.

UK has been so 'stimulated' that's it's now the only G7 and G20 country still with a shrinking economy - no, Spain doesn't count as it is not in the G20.

But, kudos where it's due, the UK, or rather the average UK Taxpayer, did indeed stimulate the economies of Italy, France, Germany, Korea, Japan, Slovakia..., Vanuatu... okay, the jury's still out on the last one.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK