Be thankful that UK sales aren’t falling

  01 October 2012

With September now over it looks likely the new car registrations for the month will, as we predicted last week, finish just fractionally ahead of where they were a year ago.

Speaking to several senior UK manufacturer executives at last week’s Paris motor show, there was a consensus the month would finish just about level with last year. One manufacturer boss gave specifics, saying that with three days left to register cars, the market was running 0.7% ahead.

So unless there’s a splurge of forced registrations at the end of the month, these predictions should prove accurate.Having said that, there was a lot of ‘we don’t do it, but they do, finger-pointing over pre-registrations.

The same group of UK execs did, however, sing from the same hymn sheet over predictions for 2013. Their view was that next year’s UK new car sales will remain flat and finish 2013 at just below 2 million.

While none were happy about the lack of overall predicted growth there was clearly much relief that they were selling cars in the UK, rather than into a Continental European market.

And maybe that’s the message. It may be tough selling cars in the UK, but the grass looks even less green on the other side.

Tristan Young

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