New reg figures rally but are tough days ahead?

  09 May 2016

There’s good news and some not so good news regarding April’s new car registration figures. First the good: fleet and business sector sales are up 6.1 percent and 2.8 percent respectively. The not so good? Private sales fell by a not inconsiderable 2.5 percent. The overall market gain was a not-to-be-sniffed-at 2.0 percent, though.

Curiously, Auto Retail Agenda sources have indicated that the market had been depressed for a while, which doesn’t quite tally with the end of month rally that delivered a two percent rise. It’s no secret that pressure from OEMs is increasing, while external forces – car price aggregators, online retailers – are proving some stiff competition at a time when consumers are increasingly focusing on price to the exclusion of everything else. 

Take a wider view of the retail industry and it’s clear that there are some tough months ahead. Forget the BHS collapse for a moment, as even the economic jitters over Brexit, consumers’ inability to secure credit and the general financial uncertainty mean that you’ll have to work harder to secure every deal. Yes, those new-reg figures are good, but it won’t last for ever.

Iain Dooley

Editor, Agenda

Auto Retail Network

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