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 July’s statistics (based on the SMMT new car registration figures for July 2012) and they are up 9.3% on last July (which was 3.5% down on the previous year), with an increase of 12,250 units to 143,884 cars registered for the month. However with pre-registration still prevalent in the trade at the moment we need to take this with a moderate sized pinch of salt.
The positive first half performance encouraged SMMT to revise upwards its full year forecast to 1.97 million units, representing a 1.6% rise on 2011’s 1.94 million unit market.
So let’s take a more detailed look at which manufacturers have improved and the ones that need to go to their rooms and have a long hard think about what they have (or haven’t) done.
This month the top 13 positions all outperformed the market and all in all 15 manufacturers managed to improve on July 2011 meaning only 5 of the top twenty turned in negative results (VW, Volvo, BMW, Seat and, naturally enough, Renault). The top 3 of Land Rover (up 1 place to number 1), Fiat (up an amazing 13 places from 15th) and Hyundai (staying at 3) are some distance ahead of the rest of the pack with 63%, 41% and 33% gains respectively.
The biggest climbers this month, apart from the aforementioned Fiat, are Skoda, up from 11th last month to 5th in July with an impressive 26% improvement, Citroen, up to 9th from 14th last month with a creditable 18% gain and Vauxhall up from 19th last month to 13th this with a decent 11% improvement.
The biggest fallers are BMW dropping 10 places from 8th to 18th with a disappointing 9% decline on July last year and Seat dropping from 19th to 9th with an even worse 12% reverse.
Biggest unit shifter in the top 20 this month was once again Ford (slipping 2 places with a 2% improvement on July 2011) with 18,527 cars registered for the month (15.9% of the top 20 total).
Behind them are Vauxhall (up 6 places to 13th with a decent 11% increase) with 17,999 units (15.4% of the total) and in third VW (moving down 4 places to 16th with a disappointing 1% decrease) with 13,435 (11% of the total).
Renault are still firmly rooted to the foot of the table it would seem after July sees them recording another awful result declining 30% – disquieting times indeed for the French manufacturer. By way of some clarification with regards to Renault’s position, Renault’s UK Communications Director Jeremy Townsend told us “Our results are in line with our expectations and forecasts. At the start of the year, we launched our renew plan with the aim of returning to profit in the UK. This involved simplifying our product line up, removing unprofitable sales channels (reducing Motability, short term rental etc), reducing the size of our dealer network and reducing our marketing expenses.Therefore, it is expected that our share for the rest of the year will show a similar decline v last year.”
German owned brands appear to be taking a kicking again with their dominance of the top 10 now a distant memory as only MINI and Skoda make their presence felt.
The SMMT are naturally positive given the positive figures but chief Executive Paul Everitt offers a note of caution, commenting “New car registrations rose 9.3% in July, continuing the upward trend seen during recent months. SMMT’s full year forecast is for 1.97 million cars to be registered during 2012 suggesting a slight slowing of demand in the second half of the year”
However with reports of forced registrations all may not be as it at first appears and maybe even more caution should be attached when taking the seemingly positive results at first value.
Car Makers Premier League July 2012