It’s a new season for the Car Makers Premier League where each month the top 20 manufacturers in terms of units shifted and how they compare with the previous month. Who are the Chelsea’s, Man United’s and Arsenal’s at the top and the Portsmouth’s, Burnley’s and Hull’s bringing up the rear? At the end of the year who will be crowned champion? Who will drop out of the top 20 as the year unfolds and which high achievers will be promoted?
Kicking off the season January’s stats (based on the SMMT figures for UK new car registrations in January 2010) is, on the surface, very encouraging with all but two of the top twenty manufacturers posting an increase on January 2009. The headline figure for the month is a 29.8% increase but the same month last year was down 30.9% on January 2008. Overall the top 13 positions all outperformed the market this month.
Clearly the scrappage scheme is still having a massive impact with the SMMT revealing that just fewer than 18% of the cars being registered in January were done so through the scheme. The news that the scheme’s official end date has been extended by one month to 31st March to enable a smoother end to the process will be a relief to many and should ease the pain of transition as far as the monthly figures are concerned.
Getting off to a flyer is Hyundai with a massive 286% increase on January 2009 with sister brand Kia not far behind, 196% up on last year. Cleary these two brands are continuing the momentum from last year and both are looking to April and the end of the scheme by introducing their own versions of the scheme and, in the case of Kia, a 7 year warranty across the range. These are clearly designed to ease the pain of the scheme ending for these manufacturers and maintain some of the momentum and good will they have received because of the scrappage incentive.
Well done to Renault as, after a dismal 2009, they start the year in 3rd place. A bad start this month for both Honda and, particularly, Toyota who both turn in negative results. Only time will tell whether Toyota’s recall issues decimate their sales going forward but it’s clearly not a good start.
Stay tuned as we reveal the movers and shakers throughout the year. Strap yourselves in, it could be a bumpy ride!
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