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New Car Market Sees 29th Consecutive Month Of Growth

Commenting on the latest car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which show a 6.6% increase to 172,907 units compared with July 2013, David Raistrick, UK Automotive Leader at Deloitte said:

“The UK new car market is enjoying its 29th consecutive month of comparative growth, a trend which has been surprising not only for its continuity, but also for the strength of growth. Whilst many markets in Europe are thankful for a one or two percent rise on the month, the UK has been regularly delivering high single or double digit growth, even in the quieter months of the year.”

“Our 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study explained some of these trends, as consumers are increasingly being drawn towards value-added packages which provide cheaper vehicles that are more fuel efficient and have more affordable payment options. Clearly, manufacturers and retailers are addressing these demands, providing entry level brands within their portfolios, thus meeting ever more stringent European emissions requirements and making attractive and varied car ownership options available.

“This study indicated that most consumers now spend more than 10 hours researching their next purchase before ever stepping foot in a dealership. The majority consider three or more brands and have an expectation that the buying process will be efficient and painless. Customer expectations, as outlined in our survey, were for the physical buying experience to be just over two hours, after taking into account receiving information from the dealer, waiting to test drive a vehicle, processing paperwork and processing any financing. This clearly sets an evolving challenge to the retail sector, particularly with a customer base that is better versed than ever before on the product available, as well as their own needs.

“It will be interesting to see whether the major September registration month will continue to show strong growth. I expect overall growth levels will start to stabilise in the final part of the year; a slowdown that will largely be driven by the increasing numbers of nearly-new used vehicles returning to the market.”