Ian Plummer, Commercial Director at Auto Trader, said:
“As expected the overall new car volumes are quite substantially down on last year, as the industry continued to face challenges that Brexit uncertainty posed as well as the ongoing pandemic. Production levels have been hit hindering supply levels and with showroom closures limiting selling options the industry has had a tough year. That said, as we move into the new year there are encouraging signs that the market will pick up, as some very strong lead indicators are likely to flow through into sales in the weeks ahead. Consumer demand for new cars on the Auto Trader marketplace soared last month, we observed a significant uplift in users viewing new cars on our marketplace which in turn drove record levels of new car leads being sent to retailers. There’s also been a very high demand for vans as people expand their business fleets or start new businesses to capitalise on the changing wider societal trends like home delivery. The emergence and adoption of buying online options will also only help new car sales over the coming months, as consumers begin to gain more confident about doing more of the car buying journey online.
“AFV sales continue to be positive, but still don’t account for any meaningful levels of volumes. We would hope that the Government’s new ‘Build Back Greener’ strategy encompasses continued financial incentives required to support a higher level of adoption. The plethora of new EVs now on the market gives consumers some excellent options but the high price tags hold many back from turning interest into purchase.”