Press release

SMMT new car registrations | June 2020

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

 

“June has been a crucial month for retailers, particularly in England where forecourts reopened on the first. All our data suggested that the market would bounce-back and while we’re still down by double figures year-on-year, the picture is by no means as bleak as it was in April and May. There’s clearly consumer appetite for both new and used cars; with a record 64 million cross platform visits on Auto Trader in June and the number of consumer leads sent to retailers up a massive 90% year-on-year.

“Car buyers spent 10.5 million hours researching cars in June, but it does take time to convert consumer interest into sales. Consumers will also be hesitant about making expensive purchases too; whether it’s as a result of an uncertain economy and job losses, or because they’re waiting to get clarity from the government as to whether or not they will introduce a scrappage scheme.

“Although sales of EVs are up, the adoption rate is still not rising fast enough to meet the government’s target to ban petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2035, let alone 2032. The current growth rate shows EV sales will overtake sales of traditional combustion engines by 2029, but we need to do this by 2024 to reach the government’s ambitious target. According to research we conducted recently, 77% of consumers want to buy green cars but they are still too expensive; often costing as much as 20% more than their petrol or diesel equivalent, meaning many consumers are simply priced out of buying them. These cars must be incentivised to close the cost gap and increase adoption; 61% surveyed also said they would be more likely to consider a green car if the government were to introduce a £6,000 scrappage scheme.  

“It’s more important now than ever before that retailers accelerate their digital presence and adopt an omnichannel retailing approach. COVID-19 has changed the way consumers shop for everything; online retail share of sales are up to one in three (compared to one in five last year) and this trend is mirrored for cars too, with 42% of consumers* now doing more of the car buying process online. Tesla is a great example of a truly omnichannel brand; the way they sell their cars in a seamless online to offline fashion has meant they’ve weathered the storm of lockdown better than most. 

“Although consumers can now visit most retailers, 15% of consumers we surveyed are still wary about doing so and as many as 80% are open to completing the purchase online or over the phone and only visiting the retailer to pick up their car. By making the car buying experience easier and more aligned to the needs and expectation of buyers, it will no doubt help to bolster new car sales figures. Put simply, if stock isn’t online it’s not for sale. 

“Signs point to a stronger outlook for the used car market – likely as people find alternative means to public transport – but more needs to be done to stabilise the new car market. A cohesive approach is needed by the industry and government to put more consumers behind the wheel of new cars by making the car buying process easier and incentivising new car purchases, particularly if we want them to take up greener alternatively fuelled options.”

*Auto Trader survey 15th – 18th June among 4,956 respondents

If you missed this week’s webinar featuring our interview with John O'Hanlon then don’t panic! You can now watch the whole webinar on demand > https://t.co/JOzyGd9SYs https://t.co/wpY71cGxtN
We're excited to be sponsoring Weekends on @davechannel, reaching 25.2 million adults over the next 12 months, to help encourage even more potential buyers to #cardealers adverts on Auto Trader! https://t.co/BWUS0yCHUF
Not only did the @Tesla Model 3 take the New Car of the Year award at this year’s Auto Trader New Car Awards, but it also took the Best Electric Car award! Find out what owners said now at https://t.co/blltmT0Wbi #Tesla #model3 #newcar #awards #Automotive https://t.co/lSXeHSddzH
This week the @SMMT revealed new car registrations were up 11.3% compared to July last year! Looking closer at the data we can see this was primarily driven by a surge in alternative fuel vehicle registrations which now account for 25.5% of market share. #atinsightoftheday https://t.co/GbElJLHanV
Tune into @AutoRetail Live at 2pm today to hear the latest advice, tips, insight & discussion from the expert panel - @ASE_Global's chairman @mikejonesase, Luscombe Motor's @RobinLuscombe & Auto Trader's head of new car, Sue Fish. Register for free here: https://t.co/0FJeYOFhfj https://t.co/GKnoJKJQiz
Data from the @SMMT shows an 11.3% year-on-year growth in new car registrations in July. Registrations for year currently stand at 828,389, down 41.9% year on year. Find out more about selling brand new cars and vans on Auto Trader https://t.co/9pnuyRUMQI #atinsightoftheday https://t.co/0XltI7iOqO
Thanks to @ClarkRjoclark & @johnfohanlon1 for a fascinating interview. Great to hear such optimism for our industry!
Pre-#COVID19 - John believes their web presence wasn’t geared to help facilitate remote sales but, as a result of the pandemic, they have focussed on enabling more of the car buying journey to take place online - something they will continue to do into the future
John expects a slight softening in the next 2-3 weeks but this will be due to holiday season so no reason to panic – key is to focus on the quarters performance which has been incredibly strong for @WaylandsVolvo
We've been looking forward to this! @ClarkRjoclark has just started our interview with @johnfohanlon1 - sure to be some great insights here https://t.co/3IfhnCO5D4

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