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.”

Auto Trader Highly Rated Awards are back for 2021. Read our latest blog to find out what you need to do to be Highly Rated this year.https://t.co/VAV3GC4u9E
With forecourts across the UK now open, our Data & Insight Director @therickw looks at buyer interactions with adverts on our platforms and how buyer behaviour is changing as forecourts reopen. https://t.co/Zp4A1iMpZR
From the 4th May we have a few changes coming to all of our packages on Auto Trader. https://t.co/z8x6kmM216
A few pointers from @chrispenny222 on how time can be saved through efficiencies in certain areas, allowing you to focus on areas that will improve your buyer's experience and generating more sales. https://t.co/ZFllNoZLZh
March was a record month for our marketplace, with an average of 2.2million visits to our site each day last month. https://t.co/qmKwKTzaYk
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw is on hand to share our latest audience update. Visits to our marketplace were up 102.2% compared to the same period in 2020 and up 35.4% when compared to normal trading conditions on 2019. https://t.co/yZRfUBTOYE
Less than 15 minutes until today's webinar. Register now to watch live or stay tuned right here for the highlights over the next hour > https://t.co/0UKfdpMNro https://t.co/Q6DtumZKVq
Join our next Courageous Conversations where our panel will be exploring political correctness, and what is PC when it comes to language surrounding people from marginalised backgrounds. Register now > https://t.co/pWiuFR0Fob https://t.co/oD6kohVaBf
Right now it's the @Tesla Model 3 that is drawing the most attention from prospective EV buyers on our platform, having the highest volume of advert views of any EV on our platform in the last month. https://t.co/lcXkrBXhPu
As the last of UK forecourts re-open today, we wish you and your business every success as we take our first step forward beyond the pandemic, together. https://t.co/XmKikgktFO

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