A new year and a brand new competition. 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?
Starting the season off with January’s statistics (based on the SMMT figures for UK new car registrations in January 2013) turned out to be better than almost everyone predicted, recording an increase of 143,643 units, an 11.5% rise on January 2012 (which was virtually static at 0.03% up on the previous year).
The top 15 positions all outperformed the market this month and all but the bottom 3 recorded a positive result. The top 3 of Nissan (51% up on January 2012) Vauxhall (51% up) and Land Rover (34% up) are quite some way ahead of the competition.
A bad but also unsurprising start to the year once again for Renault who are rooted to the foot of the table with a 15% reverse on last January. Somewhat more surprising is the performance of Ford who start the year in 19th with a 2% decrease on last year and this is despite having the top 2 cars in the bestselling model list for the month (the Ford Focus and Fiesta). Completing the bottom 3 is, again surprisingly, VW who register 29 fewer units this January.
Biggest top 20 unit shifter this month, despite their position, was once again Ford with 19,640 cars registered for the month (14.5% of the top 20 total). Second are Vauxhall with 18,253 and 13.51% and VW with 11,560 units and 8.56% of the total. So as a result we have the unusual position of 2 of the bottom 3 being the month’s biggest unit shifters.
The SMMT are naturally upbeat with interim chief Executive Mike Baunton commenting “Lifted by a solid rise in private demand, the new car market posted its 11th successive month of growth with motorists attracted to forecourts by the latest models and competitive deals on offer. Building on a strong performance in 2012, SMMT has increased its market forecast – we anticipate a modest rise over the year, followed by further growth in 2014.”
Let’s hope the upbeat messages continue into what many believe will be a supremely challenging year for the business but as we mentioned yesterday (Is there something seriously wrong with the UK new car market) things are not always what they seem and when you throw in the spectre of pre-registration this may turn out to be the calm before a pretty catastrophic storm.
Car Makers Premier League January 2013