Automotive sector continues to grow

Figures from SMMT show continuing buoyancy in Britain’s automotive sector.

Registrations for August 2013 marked 18 months of consecutive growth with a year-on-year rise of 10.9 per cent to 65,937 units.

August also saw the fifth successive month of double-digit growth that pushes the year-to-date market up 10.4 per cent to 1,391,788 units.

Registrations of all fuel types continued to grow, with registrations for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up 41.4 per cent.

‘Ahead of the September plate-change, August always has far fewer registrations, but the 10.9 per cent rise this month bodes well for the new 63-plate,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

Commenting on the figures Derek McAllan, UK head of Automotive Retail at KPMG, said, ‘A recovering economy, driven by growing consumer confidence continues to boost the new UK car market. Significantly outperforming the rest of the UK retail sector and other European car markets, the motor retail market looks set to remain strong for the remainder of the year and into 2014.

‘Disappointingly, after a modest recovery for most of Europe in July, sales slumped in August, with France and Germany recording an 11 per cent and 6 per cent fall respectively. The gains made in Spain during July were completely reversed in August with sales down a whopping 18 per cent, and while a small amount of that is down to a pre-tax increase bubble in July 2012, this is still a very poor result.

‘The main worry for the UK is if the continued slump in Europe will tempt manufacturers to pump additional units into the UK.  Too many additional units will bring margin erosion but worse Residual Value volatility. So all eyes should be on mainland Europe for the next two months sales figures.’