UK car market defies eurozone drag

Posted on 7 Dec 2012 by The Manufacturer

Figures released yesterday show Britain is now Europe’s second largest car market, growing 5.4% between January and November 2012.

This growth trajectory makes a stark contrast with contracting markets on the continent where falling demand has seen a decline in new vehicle registrations. Even Germany’s normally robust car market is predicted to contract by 3% in 2013 according to financial services company Deloitte.

SMMT yesterday revealed that in the UK, new car registrations rose 11.3% to 149,191 in November.

Despite an uncertain economic outlook for 2013, Paul Everitt, outgoing CEO of SMMT said: “vehicle manufacturers and their dealers will continue to work hard to attract motorists to their showrooms and deliver outstanding value”.

Mr Everitt also confirmed that growth in the UK car market was spurred by private demand.

Responding to SMMTs figures David Raistrick, UK automotive leader at Deloitte said: “There is no doubt that the current levels of manufacturer pre-registrations have helped support UK new sales, but this is not the full story. Analysis by Deloitte’s automotive research unit indicates that the UK new car market has fared significantly better than each of the European markets.”

Mr Raistrik warned however, that with declining demand in Europe, car manufacturers based in the regions must look further afield to secure their futures – and that this export strategy would bring challenges.

“The import duties applied in many of these markets [China, India, Brazil] as a defensive measure to allow their own manufacturers to develop; combined with tax breaks encouraging foreign owned manufacturers to invest in facilities in the new markets, is simply exacerbating the problems faced by the established European operators,” he observed.