Press release

SMMT New Car Registrations | October 2019

Auto Trader's Commercial Director, Ian Plummer, provides his view on the latest new car registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

“Consumer confidence in the economy fell to its joint-lowest point in six years last month and historically, there’s always been a clear correlation between the two given the value of the purchase. This is particularly true for retail consumers and it’s also where we’ve seen the biggest decline in October.

“Brexit is the driving force of this lack in confidence, with continued uncertainty around our exit from the EU. The upcoming General Election will continue to cause further uncertainty around consumer purchase intentions. There are at least benefits to it taking place in December though with it being a traditionally slow month for new car sales. Once we have a clearer understanding of what our exit from the EU looks like we should start to see consumer confidence improve and with it more stable new car sales. 

“There are, however, some positive sub plots beneath the headlines that we should also take into consideration too of course. Transactions of EVs [electric vehicles] are up over 150% as more consumers move to zero emission vehicles. The popularity of SUVs is ever increasing too – it’s now quite clearly becoming the most popular body type in terms of new car registrations due to the sheer range and variety of new models on sale today. Premium brands also continue to do better in resisting the negative trend, with sales numbers remaining almost flat compared to last year .”

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