“The new car market declined by -4.1% affected by Easter falling in April this year, which, alongside the warm weather, caused a slowdown in physical footfall to dealerships”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger car figures.
In April, new passenger car registrations declined by -4.1% with 161,064 units registered. Year-to-date the market is down -2.7% from last year with a total of 862,100 units. Sales of petrol cars declined -3.0%, diesel was down -9.4% and alternative fuel vehicles rose 6.4%. Private demand declined by -10.3%, while fleet rose 2.9%.
Robinson added, “Positively, there continues to be solid demand at franchised dealerships for used and nearly new cars*, which provide excellent opportunities for all types of motorists.
“The aftersales segment also remains strong and recent evidence showed very high levels of consumer satisfaction with the service provided by franchised retailers, especially for alternative fuel vehicles. We expect franchised retailers to increasingly benefit from the growing popularity of this segment.
“The uncertainty surrounding Government’s decisions on Brexit continues to affect consumer behaviour in the new car market. It is vital that clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU is provided as soon as possible”.
*'Nearly new cars’ refer to under one year old vehicles.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.