People are buying new cars on the cheap
News that BMW is investing in building more Minis in Britain (and the Netherlands) is very cheery for the manufacturing sector, and those living and working around the plants, and it seems BMW’s confidence is not misplaced. New figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that June sales of new cars are up by 3.5% in June and the total car sales for the first half of the year are up by 2.7% to 1,057,680 units. Not bad for country in a double dip recession.
However, the data does also reveal some thrifty trends, suggesting that while people are buying new cars, they are mindful of the costs. Sales of diesel cars rose by 7% in June, while sales of petrol cars actually fell, meaning that for 2012 diesel cars now have more than 50% of the market over the first half of the year at 51.2%. Alternatively-fuelled car registrations rose 47.8% rise in June, with a total market share sofar of 1.4%. Improvements in new car fuel efficiency, likely driven by tax incentives, saw average CO2 emissions fall to 134.1g/km over the first half of 2012, down 4% on a year ago and 2.9% compared with 2011’s full year figure of 138.1g/km.
Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, said “despite domestic and international economic concerns, UK motorists are responding positively to new products and the latest fuel-efficient technology. The industry has performed better than expected in the first half of the year and we will now need to work hard to sustain growth.”
But the thriftiness also goes down to the model of cars being bought. The top selling car in June, and for the whole of 2012 so far is the modest Ford Fiesta, followed closely by the equally compact Vauxhall Corsa. The June top ten also includes such vehicular beasts as the Volkswagen Golf, the Polo and the Fiat 500.
And it is the cheaper and more obscure marques that look like the winners this year- comparing figures with last year the biggest increase has been won by Ssangyong- with an impossible 4100% rise this year. Other marques showing a big percentage rise include Infiniti (no idea), MG and Chrysler. The biggest losers include Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Lotus. Proton and Renault cars are also falling out of fashion, while sales of Porsche and Land Rovers remain strong. Saab and Daihatsu are understandably down quite considerably.
So what do you think? Would you ever buy a new car knowing how much it depreciates the second you leave the forecourt, and if so, would you buy a small diesel one to save pennies?