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 August’s statistics (based on the SMMT new car registration figures for august 2012) and they are up a barely noticeable 0.1% on last August (which was 7.3% up on the previous year), with an increase of just 87 units to 59,433 cars registered for the month. However with pre-registration still prevalent in the trade at the moment we need to take this with more than a moderate sized pinch of salt.
August is a funny month in the new car game and represents a small share of the yearly market as purchases are held back for the plate change in September, hence some strange goings on in the league table.
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 still haven’t) done.
This month the top 10 positions all outperformed the market and all in all it’s a table of 2 halves, that haves and the have not’s if you will, with the top 10 performing better and the bottom half declining in performance on August 2011.
The top 3 of Suzuki (yes you did read that right – their 948 units registered were enough to bring them back into the top 20 and their 50% improvement on last year enough to catapult them to the top spot – told you it was a funny month!), Honda (up 2 places from 4th) and Kia (up 3 from 6) are some distance ahead of the rest of the pack with (as we said) 50%, 43% and 24% gains respectively.
The biggest climbers this month, apart from the aforementioned Suzuki, are Seat, up 12 places from 19th last month with an impressive 11% improvement, Mercedes, up to 6th from 12th last month with another creditable 11% gain and Peugeot up from 14th last month to 8th this with a decent enough 9% improvement.
This month we have lost Volvo who only registered 612 units for the month and Land Rover with just 591 units, taking them just outside the top 20.
The biggest fallers are MINI dropping 11 places from 8th to 19th with a disappointing 15% decline on August last year and Skoda dropping from 5th to 11th with a not too bad 1% reverse.
Biggest top 20 unit shifter in this traditionally underperforming month was once again Ford (slipping 1 place with a 5% decline on August 2011) with 8,094 cars registered for the month (14.4% of the top 20 total).
Behind them are Vauxhall (staying in 13th with a 1% decline) with 6,878 units (12.2% of the total) and in third VW (moving up 2 places to 14th with a disappointing 3% decrease) with 6,056 (10.7% of the total).
Renault are still firmly rooted to the foot of the table it would seem after August sees them recording another awful result declining 34% – Repeating last month’s 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.”
The SMMT are still naturally positive but are well aware that August is of little significance in the great scheme of things “New car registrations remained broadly stable in August, up 0.1% on a year ago to 59,433 units. August traditionally represents a small share of the new car market as motorists anticipate the arrival of the new 62-plate in September.”
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.
Just saying (still).
Car Makers Premier League August 2012