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 October’s statistics (based on the SMMT new car registration figures for October 2012) and they are up a surprising 12.1% on last October (which was up 2.6% on the previous year), with an increase of 16,308 units to 151,252 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.
October is a bit “after the Lord Mayor’s show” considering the importance of September but a 12.1% rise is not to be sneezed at. So with that in mind 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 Honda) failed to improve on last October.
The top 3 of Skoda (up from 14th last month with a colossal 61.7% increase on the same time last year) Volvo (back in with a bang at second in the table with a fantastic 48.7% improvement on last year) and Hyundai with a 40.7% improvement and just under 2,000 more units registered.
The biggest climbers this month, apart from the aforementioned Volvo, are MINI up 13 places to 6th with an impressive 29.2% improvement, and Nissan and Vauxhall both jumping 6 places with 12.7 and 12.6 percentage increases respectively.
This month we have lost Suzuki who registered just 954 units for the month which was not enough to keep them in the top 20.
The biggest fallers are BMW dropping 12 places from 4th to 16th with a disappointing 10.8% increase in registrations on October last year and the aforementioned Honda again dropping 12 places from 7th to 19th with a wholly unsatisfactory 31.4% increase.
Biggest top 20 unit shifter this month was once again Ford (dropping 1 place to 13th with a 12.3% increase on October 2011) with 20,740 cars registered for the month (16.2% of the top 20 total).
Behind as usual are Vauxhall (moving up 6 places from 18th to 12th with a 12.6% increase) with 18,023 units (14.1% of the total) and in third VW (dropping 1 place to 14th with a mediocre 11.3% increase) with 13,480 (10.5% of the total).
Renault are still firmly rooted to the foot of the table it would seem after October sees them recording another awful result declining 48.6% – it is however worth 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.”
The SMMT are naturally very positive about the strong October figures “Despite uncertainty in the European economy, the UK new car market continues to grow, with registrations rising more than 12% in October to 151,252 units,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “It is encouraging to see the alternatively-fuelled vehicle market performing strongly, up 13% so far this year. Although the alternatively-fuelled vehicle sector represents only a small share of the overall market, it is vital that government sustains its consumer incentive programme and maximises the benefits available through the vehicle taxation system.”
However with continuing 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 October 2012