Press release

September new car registrations

Electric and finance key to offsetting WLTP market impact

"As many predicted, the full impact of August’s false economy was deeply felt last month as the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test (WLTP) regulations took effect” said Ian Plummer, Auto Trader director.

September’s performance was a matter of basic economics; there simply weren’t enough cars on forecourts that met the new WLTP standards for retailers to sell. However, there were some brands that were better prepared than others. Whilst the Volkswagen group brands struggled, other German prestige marques, such as Mercedes and BMW, performed much better and seem to have better anticipated the production of WLTP compliant cars in advance of the new regulations. For volume brands, Mitsubishi also had a very strong month, and as a result is joining SEAT as one of this year’s fastest growing brands.

“2018 has been very challenging for both retailers and manufacturers, with the fuel debate and Brexit anxieties denting consumer confidence, and inflationary pressure on exchange rates, hitting profits. Coupled with changes to Vehicle Excise Duty and the introduction of WLTP disrupting the typical seasonal trends, it’s also been a very difficult year to predict. There’s reasonable optimism that the arrival of new WLTP stock in the UK over Q4 should allow retailers to catch back some of September’s lost sales and finish 2018 on a positive note hitting monthly numbers which should exceed prior year.

“Despite the many economic uncertainties, there is some positive news on the horizon for 2019 too. The plethora of new electric and hybrid vehicles that are on display at this week’s Paris Motor Show are not far from hitting forecourts, giving consumers some great new choices in this emerging fuel type which grew again last month, with most manufacturers selling through all their AFV stocks with relative ease. Along with the continued trend towards crossovers and SUVs, which have been driving both the new and used car markets in recent months, they’ll provide the opportunity for manufacturers to offset the recent sales’ deficits.

“What’s more, as more consumers move away from traditional ownership to usership models, the appetite for finance remains exceptionally strong, particularly with the continued power of PCP allied with the growing emergence of Personal Contract Hire (PCH) deals. Leasing and subscription models are beginning to open up the market and have the potential to unlock market growth, as they make accessing a car an easier and more financially attractive option to a wider demographic of consumers.”

Next week we'll be publishing the next (the eighth!) edition of our biannual Auto Trader Market Report. This time we're exploring the 'future of car retailing' and the exciting opportunities for retailers and manufacturers. Keep your eyes peeled for more details! https://t.co/AA1JR2bgE1
We loved this article by our friends at @ennisandco about the level of ageism that remains in the auto industry. Rejecting a candidate due to gender race or religion would be unthinkable; evidence suggests it's still common for age. Definitely worth a read https://t.co/tzSqie2yna
Thank you to everyone that joined us in #Edinburgh earlier this week. For those in the Exeter and southwest area, don't miss our next free AT Masterclass at @SandyParkExeter Register your free place here: https://t.co/6JuzGMJlhF https://t.co/VAkQW9dGOf
Following yesterday's talk by Nathan Coe, this morning our commercial director @IanJPlummer spoke to another full audience at this year's excellent #AutosBuzz conference. During his talk Ian discussed the need and value of greater transparency in the #automotive industry https://t.co/xMGGR7WqBl
This morning our CFO & CEO designate, Nathan Coe took to the stage at #AutosBuzz 2019 to discuss the evolution of auto marketplaces & the opportunity they present in the future of digital automotive retailing. https://t.co/sooGm6NxIi
The latest data from our Fastest Selling Index revealed the 2016 @SEATUK Alhambra (diesel auto) has retained its position as the UK's current fastest selling used car. With MPVs & 4x4s dominating is the school run influencing purchase decisions? Read more https://t.co/am3Fvn9PAe https://t.co/ozWuuvzHmE
We're excited to be speaking at #AutosBuzz 2019 - the first conference in the world dedicated to innovations in #automotive #advertising & #technology. We're looking forward to hearing about the latest trends impacting the industry & sharing our own unique experience & insight. https://t.co/XUTdFw7Q0i
We recently changed our sort order to make the search results more relevant to car buyers. Find out how you can benefit by catching up on our recent ‘Changes to search’ webinar - our most popular to date. Catch up now: https://t.co/BtAwaacVks https://t.co/J5g9ilh8dN
Congratulations to the team at @JCT600 for completing its @MitsubishiUK site at 99 Sticker Lane, Bradford. The new design looks fantastic! Read all about the new development here: https://t.co/oejAc1FnUl https://t.co/7ds3gxMcD6
If you're in the Edinburgh area, don't miss the opportunity to attend a free AT Masterclass on 17th September. We'll share the latest insights & best practice advice from the UK's most successful retailers. To secure your free place, just visit: https://t.co/Py7dN4YVzv https://t.co/HOjBJl1CP8

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