Press release

SMMT new car registrations | April 2020

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader's Commercial Director, shares his views on the latest new car registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

“With retailers forced to close the doors to their physical forecourts, it’ll come as no surprise to anyone to see just how dramatic an impact it’s had on the new car market. Some brands have been able to sell remotely, but uncertainty in the government’s guidelines or a lack of the required infrastructure to operate home delivery in a safe way, has limited it to all but a handful of retailers.

“Whilst the market is down significantly, our data does point to a market that has been paused, rather than stopped, and ready to return to health quickly once the restrictions have been lifted. Whilst traffic to our platforms has fallen, we’re still seeing circa 1 million visits every day. What’s more, our research of over 3,000 consumers conducted last week showed that only 2% have been put off from buying a new vehicle. In fact, 25% said they wanted to buy a vehicle as soon as they could, and 57% said they’d still buy in 2020.

“The same research showed that 48% public transport users would be less likely to use it as a result of social distancing anxieties, and for the same reason, 56% of driving licence holders who don’t currently own a vehicle would now consider buying one. It highlights the need for retailers to use this period to plan how they can implement measures that seek to reassure potential car buyers they can purchase a car safely. We’re confident the demand is there, but unless retailers are retail ready for when the restrictions lift, they’ll find themselves at a huge disadvantage to those that are. Something few can afford at such a challenging time.

“With potentially more people behind the wheel, there’s a chance for the industry to accelerate the adoption of low emission vehicles. However, it’ll be essential for manufacturers to push more EVs into their UK networks along with greater financial incentives. Discussions have already started in Germany and France, for example, into the possible introduction of scrappage schemes favouring low CO2 cars and EVs. Otherwise consumers will stick to what they know. It’ll be a wasted opportunity to drive positive change in the market and will push the government’s 2035 emissions ambitions further out of reach.”

With forecourts in England and Wales set to open next week, our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience insights revealing how we are seeing buyer behaviour change as lockdown measures ease. https://t.co/yIMnXbLtn0
Performance Rating helps you quickly understand how well your adverts are performing vs competing adverts and know whether your adverts are winning buyers’ attention. Plus we’ve improved how you can track performance improvements over time. https://t.co/4IhSUpEV81
Following 4 months of price growth slowing, due to the record levels of demand in the market, last month not only saw the 12th consecutive month of price growth but also the first monthly increase in the rate of growth since October 2020. https://t.co/aQQ27H6QOl
A reminder from @stuart_trader to login to Portal to let us know if you offer admin fees. 92% of retailers already have. https://t.co/TkUEpnyx5p
When we look at vehicle pricing by age bands we can see strong growth for all vehicles, with those vehicles in the 5-10 year old and 10-15 year old age bands seeing the strongest like-for-like price growth. https://t.co/0PvxqEjLvZ
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw returns for his ever popular audience update, revealing that visits to our marketplace are up by 89.4% compared to the same period in 2020 and up by 27.5% when compared to the same period in 2019. #RichWalkerfanclub https://t.co/NR8mywkxCE
Just 15 minutes until today's webinar. You can still register to watch live or stay tuned right here for the highlights > https://t.co/Foqq4rVl2N https://t.co/my9knVy7eL
For the first time since August, new car registration numbers grow with the @SMMT reporting a welcome year-on-year growth in registrations of 11.5% in March. https://t.co/WAPeT02wou
As forecourts reopen, we look at reasons to be optimistic for April and share some practical advice for retailers looking to keep up with the industry as it moves forward beyond the pandemic. https://t.co/BwGEsCm9Kj
Register for next week's webinar where @Lusky91 of Luscombe's Leeds will reveal how they have advanced their digital retailing during lockdown and how they’re going to use these learnings to make more efficient sales in future > https://t.co/Foqq4rVl2N https://t.co/7opxnTlSdV

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