New car commentary | August 2023
A quick look under the bonnet reveals the new car market has reached a pivot point...
The headline figures are positive, but with sales growth being fuelled almost exclusively by various fleet channels in recent months, a quick look under the bonnet reveals the new car market has reached a pivot point. After years of heavily constrained new car supply struggling to keep pace with consumer appetite, for the first time since the pandemic we’re seeing production exceed natural demand, as evident in flattening retail sales numbers."
It’s good news for new car buyers though. Not only have lead times dropped significantly, but the market’s currently awash with enticing offers, particularly for new EV models, from manufacturers hoping to stimulate demand for the September plate change. And there’s signs it’s working as we saw a notable rise in new car activity across our platforms over the closing weeks of August.
The significant uptick in electric registrations is promising, but again, it continues to be propped up fleet channels, as people take advantage of business-related tax benefits that make them more affordable. Without those advantages, the current £50,000 median price-tag for a brand-new electric car is far beyond most retail car buyers’ budgets. But with the growing array of deposit contributions and 0% APR deals on offer that can now help bridge the affordability gap for private buyers too, we may well see a rise in vital private demand for EVs, which will be much needed if we’re to achieve the government’s 2030 ambitions.”
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