Press release

SMMT new car registrations | October 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)

Ian Plummer, director at Auto Trader commented on the SMMT’s new car registration figures in October: 

“Our data shows sustained consumer appetite with audience numbers remaining high at over 62 million, up 25% on last year, and the number of brand new car and van leads sent to retailers up 150% compared with October 2019. New car registrations are a reflection of a strong natural retail demand, which has meant retailers haven’t been doing the same month-end forced activity, including tactics like self-registering cars. All anecdotal feedback from retailers and manufacturers suggests that just a week ago they were tracking as much as 20% higher than last year, so although October’s overall registrations were flat, they were driven by organic consumer demand.

“Data shows that it is fleet sales which are causing the dip in numbers in October and that’s not surprising. Many companies haven’t updated their business fleets because the shift in working habits for much of 2020 has meant they don’t need to. The new car market is also still feeling the effect of production line closures earlier in the year, straining the availability of brand new car stock to meet strong consumer demand. 

“The motor industry is a multibillion pound market with a sizeable impact on the UK’s economy, and while it’s good news that the government is keeping manufacturing open during the second lockdown, retailers’ showrooms won’t be able to remain open to sell the cars produced. With consumer demand still at record levels, many retailers have been strengthening their online forecourts so that car buyers can buy online using home delivery or click and collect options, which 50% of consumers have said they’re willing to do in a survey we conducted this week. This is especially vital when over a third of consumers are looking to buy in the next two weeks, given retailers in England and Wales have had to close their showrooms in line with the latest lockdown restrictions.”

With panic buying of petrol and diesel gripping the nation, we've seen a spike in interest in electric vehicles with advert views and leads for new electric vehicles on our platform hitting record levels over the weekend. #fuelcrisis #fuelshortages #ElectricVehicles https://t.co/EOX4SEDGCD
This week we rolled out the final stage of our admin fees plan, including any admin fees in the total price of the vehicle. So it's only fitting that this week's tip of the week is all about admin fees and what you can do to ensure your pricing is as transparent as possible. https://t.co/KThAVdSAon
The 2015 @KiaUK Sorento has been revealed as the UK’s current fastest selling used car taking an average of just 17 days to sell right now. https://t.co/X3WTnoOQdE
The number of buyers considering buying their car online continues to grow, with our latest buyer survey indicating that 63% are now willing to buy a used car online when presented with a scenario. https://t.co/FTxnM4ccPO
We're working with the @RMI_NFDA and ICDP to understand how dealers have adopted more digital retailing practices and we need to hear from you! Take the survey now to get a free personalised benchmark report👉https://t.co/qjQqIdVWFt https://t.co/eUiwMtm8E6
As of today, admin fees will be included in the total advertised price of the vehicle on Auto Trader. https://t.co/zy5qYuzEqp
The popularity of electric vehicles on our marketplace continues to grow with almost 1 in 5 consumers looking for a new car on our marketplace now considering an electric car. https://t.co/o6fHAjgL1y
In our next Courageous Conversations webinars, we'll be will be discussing whether the automotive industry is a safe space for the LGBT+ community along @forduk, @UKVolkswagen and @stonewalluk. Register now to join the conversation 👉https://t.co/p3ID7BHI3O https://t.co/FvNNTIhCEm
The latest @SMMT figures show a drop in new car transactions of 22% in August. But despite this, @IanJPlummer believes there are still reasons to be confident and that there is now a huge opportunity for the used car market. https://t.co/M0YmHKH2VA
In our next webinar, we’ll be looking at how this month’s plate change is impacting the market. Are we seeing an influx of buyer’s part-exchanging for a brand-new car and will it ease pressure on stock in the market? Register now find out 👉https://t.co/Oi8hLyTaTg https://t.co/Jjx116svPd

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