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 September’s statistics (based on the SMMT new car registration figures for September 2012) and they are up a surprising 8.2% on last September (which was down 0.8% on the previous year), with an increase of 27,136 units to 359,612 new 62 plate cars registered for the month. However with pre-registration still very prevalent in the trade at the moment we need to take this with more than a moderate sized pinch of salt.
September is one of the biggest months of the year for new car sales so should give us a really good indication of how some of the manufacturers are doing. 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 13 positions all outperformed the market and only 2 manufacturers (Renault – of course – and Mini) failed to improve on last September.
The top 3 of Land-Rover (back into the top 20 in first position with a massive 40.4% increase on the same time last year) Suzuki (yes you did read that right – their 5,850 units registered were enough to keep them in the top 20 and their 28.6% improvement on last year enough to keep them in the top 2!) and Fiat with 28.5% improvement and just over 2,000 more units registered.
The biggest climbers this month, apart from the aforementioned Suzuki and Land Rover, are BMW, up 14 places to 4th from 18th last month with an impressive 23.3% improvement, Toyota, up to 5th from 17th last month with another creditable 21.8% gain and Audi up from 11th last month to 6th this with a decent 19.8% improvement.
This month we have lost Mazda who registered 4,952 units for the month but which was not enough to keep them in the top 20.
The biggest fallers are Peugeot dropping 8 places from 8th to 16th with a disappointing 7.1% increase in registrations on September last year and Nissan again dropping 8 places from 9th to 17th with an unsatisfactory 4.5% increase.
Biggest top 20 unit shifter in this traditionally big selling month was once again Ford (moving up 4 places to 12th with a 9.3% increase on September 2011) with 47,370 cars registered for the month (14% of the top 20 total).
Behind them are Vauxhall (dropping from 13th to 18th with a 3.8% increase) with 38,889 units (11.5% of the total) and in third VW (dropping 1 place 15th with a mediocre 7.4% increase) with 31,424 (9.3% of the total).
Renault are still firmly rooted to the foot of the table it would seem after September sees them recording another awful result declining 36% – it is however repeating once again the 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 versus last year.”
A very disappointing month too for Mini the only other manufacturer in the top 20 to suffer a decline on last year, staying in 19th place with a decline of 271 units or 2.8%.
The SMMT are naturally very positive about the strong September figures “The important September plate change market outperformed expectations with new car registrations increasing more than 8% on last year to 359,612 units,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Although the economic outlook remains challenging, we are starting to see a tentative return of consumer confidence as motorists explore new products and the latest fuel-efficient technologies.”
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 September 2012