It’s time once more for the Car Makers Premier League where each and every month we examine the top 20 manufacturers by number of units registered and see just how they look when compared with the previous month. 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?
We carry on the season with April’s statistics (based on the SMMT new car registration figures for April 2012) and they are up 3.3% on last April (which was 7.4% down on the previous year), with an increase of 5,576 units to 142,322 cars registered for the month.
As March is one of the biggest months of the year for new car sales obviously because of the plate change there is an inevitable drop off in April so a 3.3% rise year on year is encouraging and has resulted in the SMMT revising its full year forecast to 1.95 million units. So let’s have a closer look at which manufacturers have improved and the ones which may need to take a long, hard look at themselves.
This month amazingly the top 15 positions all outperformed the market with the top 3 of Land Rover (up from 4th last month with a massive 53.8% increase on April 2012) Kia (a huge 40.6% increase on last year) and Toyota (what a turnaround with a 35.1% increase on April 2011) being some way out in front. In 4th come Citroen with 26%, 5th Fiat with 25% and 6th come BMW with a respectable 22.9% increase on last April.
Biggest unit shifter in the top 20 this month was once again Ford with 20,621 cars registered for the month (18.1% of the top 20 total). Behind them are Vauxhall with 16,487 units (14% of the total) and in third VW with 13,300 (11%).
Biggest risers this month are third placed Citroen moving up from 14th last month to 4th this and Honda (another comeback!) rising from 18th to 8th. Biggest fallers were leaf merchants Nissan slipping down 15 places 2nd to 17th with a disappointing 9.3% decline on last April and Audi dropping 11 places from 5th into the danger zone at 16th with a unsatisfactory 3.5% reverse.
Renault are rooted to the bottom it would seem after a calamitous April which sees them recording an astoundingly bad 56% drop in units registered (2,649 to be precise) troubling times indeed for the French manufacturer.
The SMMT are naturally upbeat with chief Executive Paul Everitt commenting “We are seeing a steady increase in consumer confidence with growth in private demand, boosted by the arrival of a raft of new products. SMMT has increased its full year forecast to 1.95 million units, putting the market marginally ahead of 2011, indicating a period of relative stability.”
We really hope the upbeat messages continue into what many still anticipate being an extremely challenging year for the business (just ask Renault).
Car Makers Premier League April 2012