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SMMT new car registrations: Close Brothers comment PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 February 2017
Chris Bosworth, Director of Strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, comments on the SMMT UK monthly automotive registration figures for January:  “January’s overall new car registration figures continue in similar vein to 2016, with registrations up and growth continuing in the market. This comes despite recent warnings of a slowdown in investment to the sector, fuelled by the uncertainty created by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union” 

“After a nine month period of sustained decline, it’s interesting to note that new-car private sector sales are again on the increase. It’s also encouraging to see that the growth of the AFVs shows no sign of slowing, with that segment posting nearly 20% growth to take a record 4.2% market share. Given that last year (particularly in the second half) we saw consumers flocking to the used-car sector and preferring to finance 1-3 year ‘nearly new stock’ over brand new vehicles, it’ll be interesting to see whether the upturn of private new car registrations continues throughout 2017.

“Increasing production levels, registrations and consumers moving from the new to the used car market has had a positive knock-on effect for car-dealerships throughout the UK. Our recent Dealer Satisfaction Survey highlights this, with 65% of dealers expecting growth this year.”

“Looking ahead, the effects of rising inflation on consumer spending and the changes to salary sacrifice from April 2017 to the business market will be the major challenges to the private sales market. Innovations, including more sophisticated driver aids, increase in safety improvements, and the uptake of ULEV, will be key in encouraging consumers to purchase new over used vehicles in 2017.”

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