Barry’s Blog…Scottish retailers need not be too dejected

  12 July 2010

Scottish retailers should not be too downcast to see that new car sales in Scotland in June dropped 6.03% in contrast to the 10.8% increase in Britain as a whole.

In June, the fleet market surprisingly rebounded by 25.3% on the volume recorded a year earlier. These sales are mostly commissioned in England and will have contributed significantly to that 10.8% figure in the rest of the UK and have skewed the look of the situation in Scotland.

A study of the year?to?date figures for Scotland show an increase of 11.22% on 2009. Admittedly, that is still a long way short of the 19.9% year?to?date increase in Britain as a whole but it is going in the right direction.

Whilst private demand in June over the UK was down 3.3%, the boom in fleet sales, hopefully, shows some improved business confidence. Even so, the SMMT still expects challenging economic conditions in the second half. Government action to improve access to credit for consumers and businesses will be important in sustaining the momentum of recovery, says the SMMT.

By the end of last week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the event was being acclaimed as the most successful ever and the natural successor to Britain’s cancelled International Motor Show. I think not. Certainly, it was a glorious garden fete with motors and personalities of every description.

Around 175,000 people of all sorts were there; those who really went for just a picnic as an alternative to eating on the side of the M1; those who went to coo and bill over a heady mix of cars and stars and those who spent their time on the hill watching the rally which, these days, is a less significant part of the Festival.

Everyone was happy – especially, I assume, Lord March who owns the Goodwood estate ? but to think of it as a replacement for the Motor Show is to think that the BBC’s Top Gear programme is about sensible individuals giving motorists a critical review of everyday cars.

Have a good week, both in and out of the showroom. If you have a story for us, email barry@auto?
Barry Hook

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