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24 May 24 Press releases

MAY UPTICK IN NEW CAR TRAFFIC TO AUTO TRADER AS BRANDS FOCUS ON DIGITAL SHOWROOMS TO STIMULATE RETAIL DEMAND

 

  • Visits to Auto Trader’s new car platform up 22% YoY as brands focus on digital showrooms.
  • BMW is May’s most in-demand marque, but interest in CUPRA rockets.
  • Hattrick for Land Rover Defender 110, as May marks third consecutive month as most in-demand brand-new car on Auto Trader.

Despite constraints in the new car market, the latest data from Auto Trader reveals consumer interest for brand-new cars remains buoyant, with the marketplace reporting a 22% year-on-year (YoY) uplift in new car visits in May to date (up to 20th). It marks a slight increase on the strong 21% increase recorded in April, and the highest rate of YoY growth recorded in over a year. 

The performance is being fuelled, in part, by a compelling combination of improved availability of new car stock (particularly for the growing array of new electric vehicles), as well as greater affordability, both of which is highlighted in Auto Trader’s latest onsite data. Indeed, as brands and retailers alike bring more new car stock out of hiding to allow car buyers to discover them more easily, the volume of advertised brand-new cars on the platform has surged, increasing 41% since last August. In the last five months alone, it’s increased 17%.

As brands look to stimulate demand to match increased production levels, consumers are also benefitting from improved affordability of brand-new cars. In fact, more than half (53%) of all new car models advertised on Auto Trader have seen a gradual reduction in price over the last 12 months, some models by up to 20%. Around seven in 10 new electric models are now cheaper on the platform than they were last year. 

However, as well as growing availability and affordability of new car stock, the best performing brands and new car retailers on Auto Trader are focusing on improving the stand-out factor of their cars in front of an audience of circa 2 million monthly new car visitors. Success for retailers can come from driving consumer engagement where shoppers are most likely to be researching their next new car by spending at least as much time on enhancing the merchandising quality of their digital showroom as their physical stores. Earlier this month, for example, Tesla introduced enhanced imagery to its adverts, providing a greater array of quality pictures for available new cars. This digital best practice helped the all-electric brand stand out from its competitors, and the impact was immediate, with the volume of advert views almost doubling within just 48 hours, helping to propel both Tesla and the Model 3 into May’s top 10 fastest growing brands and models.

BMW is May’s hottest new car marque, but Defender defends its title.

Auto Trader’s data reveals which brands and models are generating the most interest among potential new car buyers overall. Whilst BMW is currently driving the largest number of consumer new car enquiries to retailers through the Auto Trader platform, with a share of 16.9%, CUPRA has recorded the largest growth this month, with its share of enquiries rising circa 2% on April. It’s sister brand, SEAT, is the second biggest mover with a month-on-month (MoM) increase of 1.1%.

Based on electric enquiries alone, Renault has streaked ahead in May, with its share of new EV enquiries surging 2.6% MoM, far outpacing the second fastest growing brand, Volvo, which was up an otherwise very strong 1.5% MoM. So far, the brands seeing the largest drop in interest in May, are Ford, recording a -2.7% dip in new EV leads sent to retailers, followed by Audi (-2.5%), and Vauxhall (-1.5%).

At a model level, the Land Rover Defender 110 retains its title as the most in-demand new car on Auto Trader for the third consecutive month, generating the largest share of enquiries (4%). However, in terms of growth in demand, it’s a more compact SUV that takes the title, with the volume of leads for CUPRA’s sporty Formentor rising 1% MoM.

For new electric models, it’s Hyundai’s iconic IONIQ 5 that’s generating the most interest among in-market buyers, accounting for 5.7% of all new electric enquiries. In second place is the hugely successful MG-4 (5.2%), which is followed into 3rd and 4th place by Peugeot’s E-208 (4.7%) and E-2008 (4.6%). In fact, the French all electric SUV has seen the largest growth in demand so far this month, with the E-2008 recording a 2.6% increase in the share of new EV enquiries.

Commenting on the data, Auto Trader’s New Car Performance Director, Bex Kennett, said: “Despite a subdued post-plate-change April, we’re seeing very robust levels of engagement on our platform; given its scale, which generates six times more searches than Google, it offers a promising view of what’s likely to flow through into the new car market over the coming weeks and months. It also highlights how the best performing brands and retailers are responding to current challenges. As well as taking more of their stock out of hiding, they’re also investing more in their digital showrooms, ensuring their brand-new cars stand out in an increasingly competitive and crowded market, which is turning more heads, and generating more enquiries as a result.”

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