Forced registrations. Are they back?

  11 June 2012

Two days before the official SMMT sales figures for May were revealed last Thursday, I received an anonymous text message, making some bold claims about forced registrations.

He (or she) claimed the market would be up by “around 7%”, but the tipster added that on the last day of the month 25,000 vehicles where registered which saved the market from being down 9% compared to May 2011.

When the official figures were released, the “around 7%” claim held true.
However, within the figures we see at Auto Retail Network there seems to be little obvious evidence of large numbers being pumped into the fleet or business sectors – which is a usual sign of forced registrations.

The official line form the SMMT is that they don’t comment on daily registrations and that there are always more cars registered on the last day of the month as sales people push to close business and hit targets.

Just looking at the fleet and business registration figures for the month shows that of the top 15 brands there is no single maker that’s forcing registrations. Despite some very large fleet percentage increases (Kia up 41%, Fiat up 53% and Land Rover up 48%) the numbers involved aren’t huge.

So, if any other Auto Retail Network members want to get in touch, anonymously or otherwise, about how May or future months perform, I’d be only too happy to listen.

Tristan Young

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