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.”

Our latest Retailer Performance Masterclass on distance selling is now live. Take the module now to become an expert on all things distance selling > https://t.co/Wm6Ve34Tf1 https://t.co/TVqYfZdDJy
Register now for next week’s webinar where we’ll be revealing how to keep buyers locked into your adverts for longer along with an update on the wholesale market from @dealerauction1. Register now at https://t.co/fRY30yjrUU https://t.co/H1VUtOHteP
Our latest pricing data, based on the 510,000 vehicles currently available on our marketplace, shows that used car prices continue to record strong levels of growth – up 7.7% YoY – despite the current lockdown measures in place. https://t.co/SVtIcJmKq5
In our latest blog, we’ve pulled together our top tips for making sure you’re digital forecourt is attracting as many buyers as possible. Click below to find out more 👇https://t.co/ssr5eAs64R
Although 2021 hasn’t started the way we would have hoped, we’re still seeing high demand for vans, with January audience so far up 39% versus the same time last year. Find out more in our latest blog 👇 https://t.co/dxDDCqPR7l
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience insights, including how many visitors, ad views and leads we have seen since the start of 2021. https://t.co/4CJ0pNun49
It's the final day of @AMchatter #AMLVirtual. Be sure to check out the virtual and listen in to their expert speakers 👇 https://t.co/Jr38eTuWKq
Closing off today's webinar, @stuart_trader announces the launch of our next (and very topical) #RPMAccredited module on Distance Selling. Find out more and become accredited now > https://t.co/Wm6Ve34Tf1 https://t.co/UUpT9NlIaR
Nona Bowkis from @Lawgistics_UK is now on to answer your questions. She kicks off by confirming that everything paid by the consumer, including a warranty, has to be refunded in the event of a return within the 14 day cooling off period. https://t.co/mEtXKnB1Cw
Last week we asked retailers if they were operating click & collect or home delivery with 94% indicating they have and this week we can see that 79% have seen success. https://t.co/HqLuUGEYCi

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