As 'Euro Gate' rumbles on, the Greek, Italian & Spanish governments have fallen and been replaced, Spain is near the edge interest rate wise, the talk about France is not good and nobody seems sure what's going to come next as we seem to lurch from one crisis to the next. So how's that effecting the Motor Industry ?
Well it looks like the market is continuing to stabilise, new car registrations are up 2.6% against October 2010. Again as with last month the is down with the fleet and business market increasing (7.9% & 9.7%) resulting in an overall increase. However the retail market was only down about half as much as last month so it clearly shows some confidence in retail sales is returning.
The figures are 7% (9,000 vehicles) ahead of the SMMT forecasts putting the market in line for a 1,923,000 end of year figure.
Vans and Trucks continue to lead the way, the October Van market was up 6.7% (18.2% YTD) and Truck registrations are up 33.3% (28.3% YTD). This growth is a cross all weight categories apart from the 2.5t to 3.5t sector. Used Vans are also going from strength to strength with reduced supply and increasing prices.
Used cars are an area with some mixed some views on, the news seems to be contradictory one report says used car prices are up and the next says they are down, people we speak to also say differing things from, "we can't get enough", to "there is no show room traffic" and "we can't sell what we have".
However read the statistics carefully and a positive picture emerges, the headlines say 'Car Values Down' but the detail tells you that vehicles going through auction are on average lower in price as decent 2-4 yr old used car stock dries up due to low new sales 2-4 years ago so there is a higher percentage of older, higher mileage cars going through the ring. Another headline said 'Used car sales down 15%' however journalists being journalists love a negative headline as that was measured September 2011 to October 2010 and its usual for dealers to reduce stocks running up to Christmas so the drop is normal and routine.
So the retail side of the Motor Industry is holding its own but the 'Corporate' side is still very flat with little or no new jobs appearing. Looking on the bright side everything has a beginning and an end and so this unique period economy wise will end at some point.The majority of business's out there have been running understaffed for a couple of years now, this is restricting the ability of business's to transact at existing business levels let alone expand when the economy looks brighter so perhaps it will not take much of an upturn for companies to have to start to recruit in volume again so they and you must be ready and prepared for that to happen. It will one way or another be an interesting 2012.