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.”

According to the latest data on AT, searches for diesel have declined to an all-time low of 42%; a steady decline from 71% in Nov 2016. Petrol has increased from 26% to 50% of fuel related searches during the same period. Is the writing on the wall for the much maligned diesel? https://t.co/40JTJIswEA
In the UK over 100,000 brand new cars are hidden from buyers. We surveyed over 1,000 recent new car buyers & invited 5 of them to talk to us on camera to understand the key things they want when buying a brand new car. Find out how you can meet their needs https://t.co/Zsb9UUlb4i https://t.co/OvDRszubiC
With more than 80 new generation AFVs set to launch this year, including 30 plug-in EVs, 2019 looks to be a pivotal year for electric. Find out how you can prepare for this HUGE opportunity with our latest Market Report. Download your free copy here: https://t.co/VZntF4hxmH https://t.co/vuSuWQwr5D
Our franchise brand director @chrispenny222 is speaking at today's Automotive Fellowship International event. Chris is discussing whether new consumer behaviours require new metrics for success. https://t.co/4Iuei3PpGF
Huge congratulations to @Auto30Club for today's launch of a fantastic new website.Lots of articles & resources to help businesses create a more gender balanced workforce. We're very proud to support such a vital endeavour & what a day to launch it #IWD2019 https://t.co/hyjVNPMv2u https://t.co/hwkqtu8wAz
One not to be missed! Tune in here: https://t.co/zDnG2DL9v1 https://t.co/aqGIYkNlaR
20 mins before our special webinar to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay Join @TrustFordUK's @sharonashcroft, @ennisandco's Lynda Ennis & our own @ctsaprounis to hear advice on attracting & retaining the best talent to your business. Tune in here: https://t.co/zDnG2DL9v1 https://t.co/MYRDhjNQbO
Are you missing out on the benefits of a diverse & balanced workforce (better profits, culture & thinking)? Then don't miss tomorrow's webinar with @TrustFordUK & @ennisandco to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay.Hear how to retain & attract the best talent https://t.co/zDnG2DL9v1 https://t.co/luW9JE6vsu
It's very much our pleasure to support such a great organisation. We're looking forward to the event and the launch of the website, both of which will play a big role in bringing together our industry to share ideas and experiences https://t.co/hwkqtu8wAz
Don't miss Friday's #IWD2019 webinar with @TrustFordUK's HR director Sharon Ashcroft @ennisandco's founder Lynda Ennis & AT's head of culture Christos Tsaprounis to hear their expertise on attracting & retaining a diverse workforce. Tune in here https://t.co/zDnG2DL9v1 https://t.co/1xnHtdke5w

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience