New car registrations -3.5% to 179,272 units in May and -0.6% for the year-to-date Mini segment up 120% in May and up 27.4% over the year-to-date Diesel demand continues with volumes up 8.4% to 80,246 cars in May

"The slow-down in the overall new car market in May comes as no surprise and reflects concerns across the economy," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. "The figures are in line with SMMT forecasts for 2008, and we expect a tough year ahead. Vehicle manufacturers and dealers will have to work hard to attract consumers, who are facing increasing household and motoring expenses."

Notes: At ˆ20 bn, the automotive sector is Europe's largest investor in R&D, driving industry forward and helping deliver more sustainable motoring for the 21st century. Technological innovation has helped car and CV manufacturers slash CO2 and air quality emissions from vehicles. New diesel cars for example emit 95% less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago and average new car CO2 has been cut by 13.1% since 1997.

Each vehicle made in Britain requires half the energy to produce than it did just five years ago, saving an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Total combined waste to landfill down by more than half, from 80,399 tonnes in 2000 to 39,862 tonnes in 2006. For more details, download SMMT's eighth annual Sustainability Report from the SMMT web site www.smmt.co.uk/publications.

Table 1 – UK new car registrations

Volume

% change

May

179,272

-3.5

Year-to-date

1,038,289

-0.6

Last 6 months

1,176,249

-0.2

Last 12 months

2,397,860

1.3

Annual:
Average '97-'07

2,379,069

2007

2,404,007

2.5

2008F

2,335,000

-2.9

2009F

2,325,000

Market dips in May, as forecast

  • Registrations fell by a modest 3.5% in May or 6,525 units. This was the first fall in volumes since February 2008 and comes after two months of surprisingly robust growth.
  • May's volume was on par with our forecast of 179,000 units and left volumes over the first five months of 2008 down just 0.6%.
  • Between 1999 and 2007, May has averaged 192,838 units, or an 8.0% share of the annual market. The 2008 performance was 7.0% or 13,566 units shy of this and was the weakest May volume since 1999.

MMAT – monthly moving annual total

Outlook remains cautious, with volumes expected to slide further

  • The slowdown remains relatively mild, considering the warning signs from other areas of the economy. However, manufacturers and dealers are offering competitive prices and attractive deals to maintain volumes whilst trading conditions are tough.
  • The 12 month rolling total eased to 2.398 million units in May. Volumes would need to slip by some 63,000 units over the remaining seven months to achieve our full year 2.335 million unit forecast.
Table 2 – Registrations by sales type

2008

Private

Fleet

Business

May
Volume

73,422

96,588

9,262

% change

-9.5

3.1

-15.4

Share

41.0

53.9

5.2

Y YTD
Volume

453,942

518,235

66,112

% change

-3.5

2.3

-2.6

Share

43.7

49.9

  • Weaker private demand a concern
  • May marked the first sizeable downturn in private demand with volumes down 9.5% or 7,709 units.
  • The business market was also very weak during the month. However, fleet volumes rallied to off-set some of the declines elsewhere.
  • Over the first five months of the year only the fleet market has grown.
Table 3 – Top ten best sellers

May 2008 YTD 2008

8,563

FOCUS

<

1

> FOCUS

52,887

7,692

CORSA

<

2

> CORSA

44,931

7,434

ASTRA

<

3

> ASTRA

44,822

7,045

FIESTA

<

4

> FIESTA

42,895

5,545

GOLF

<

5

> GOLF

30,476

4,876

207

<

6

> 207

27,965

4,525

ZAFIRA

<

7

> 3 SERIES

22,561

4,198

VECTRA

<

8

> VECTRA

21,787

3,843

3 SERIES

<

9

> ZAFIRA

21,241

3,709

MONDEO

<

10

> MONDEO

Focus still top, but mini sector booms

  • Ford's Focus maintained its best seller's slot in May. Once again the Zafira performed well inside the top ten, and upper medium segment cars occupied the final three slots in the rankings, reflecting the strong fleet sales recorded in the month.
  • The mini segment showed the strongest growth in May, with registrations up 120%. The newly launched Hyundai i10 was the best seller in the segment.
Table 4 – Diesel registrations

Volume

% change

% Mkt share

May

80,246

8.4

44.8

Year-to-date

446,655

10.4

43.0

Last 12 months

1,009,388

9.0

42.1

Annual:
Ave '97-'07

568,700

23.9

2007

967,436

2.5

40.2

2008F

1,005,000

3.9

43.0

2009F

1,020,000

1.5

Diesels growth sustained

  • Set against a backdrop of rising fuel costs, CO2 based taxes and consumers looking to improve their carbon footprints, growth in the diesel market is to be expected. Diesel volumes and market share improved in May.
  • The Ford Focus was the best selling diesel model, but the VW Golf remains number one over the year-to-date.
  • Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) slowed for the first time this year in May, down 8.3%.
Economic analysis

  • Official data for quarter one showed that whilst headline GDP growth figures did ease to 2.5%, consumer spending remained firm and improved to 3%.
  • This figure was more robust than had been expected. However, concerns over the outlook for both GDP and consumer spending growth remain.
  • Figures from the Nationwide show house prices are falling, and with general costs rising - notably fuel and energy bills - consumers will have less money to spend on discretionary items and may be feeling less confident.

Media Contacts

Sara Lee 020 7344 9219 [email protected] John Procter 020 7344 9263 [email protected]

MAY

% Change

YEAR TO DATE % Change
MARQUE 2008 %market share 2007

%market share

2008 %market share 2007 %market share
Alfa Romeo 478 0.27 518 0.28

-7.72

2,738 0.26 2,529 0.24 8.26
Aston Martin 161 0.09 140 0.08

15.00

861 0.08 1,112 0.11 -22.57
Audi 8,914 4.97 8,388 4.51

6.27

48,615 4.68 46,052 4.41 5.57
Bentley 156 0.09 157 0.08

-0.64

930 0.09 1,007 0.10 -7.65
BMW 8,741 4.88 9,070 4.88

-3.63

50,234 4.84 42,232 4.04 18.95
Cadillac 8 0.00 2 0.00

300.00

78 0.01 34 0.00

129.41

Chevrolet 1,305 0.73 1,243 0.67

4.99

8,437 0.81 7,121 0.68 18.48
Chrysler 761 0.42 750 0.40

1.47

3,488 0.34 3,900 0.37 -10.56
Citroen 6,417 3.58 7,803 4.20

-17.76

38,197 3.68 44,144 4.23 -13.47
Corvette 0 0.00 0 0.00

0.00

6 0.00 26 0.00 -76.92
Daihatsu 300 0.17 290 0.16

3.45

2,532 0.24 1,975 0.19 28.20
Daimler 2 0.00 4 0.00

-50.00

18 0.00 13 0.00 38.46
Dodge 233 0.13 192 0.10

21.35

2,284 0.22 1,282 0.12 78.16
Fiat 5,135 2.86 4,488 2.42

14.42

26,008 2.50 25,286 2.42 2.86
Ford 26,547 14.81 29,769 16.02

-10.82

156,667 15.09 162,779 15.59 -3.75
Honda 6,368 3.55 8,101 4.36

-21.39

45,269 4.36 47,394 4.54 -4.48
Hummer 40 0.02 0 0.00

0.00

86 0.01 0 0.00

0.00

Hyundai 2,434 1.36 2,002 1.08

21.58

13,458 1.30 12,944 1.24 3.97
Jaguar 2,058 1.15 1,258 0.68

63.59

9,537 0.92 8,654 0.83 10.20
Jeep 442 0.25 370 0.20

19.46

2,326 0.22 2,318 0.22 0.35
Kia 2,764 1.54 2,030 1.09

36.16

15,240 1.47 11,644 1.11 30.88
Land Rover 2,518 1.40 3,733 2.01

-32.55

18,929 1.82 20,489 1.96 -7.61
Lexus 788 0.44 1,018 0.55

-22.59

5,364 0.52 6,560 0.63 -18.23
Lotus 81 0.05 67 0.04

20.90

332 0.03 279 0.03 19.00
Mazda 3,785 2.11 3,688 1.98

2.63

22,975 2.21 22,106 2.12 3.93

Mercedes

Benz

6,464 3.61 5,595 3.01

15.53

35,535 3.42 33,628 3.22 5.67
MG 0 0.00 0 0.00

0.00

3 0.00 107 0.01 -97.20
MINI 3,429 1.91 3,776 2.03

-9.19

18,876 1.82 19,073 1.83 -1.03
Mitsubishi 1,262 0.70 1,282 0.69

-1.56

9,380 0.90 8,376 0.80 11.99
Nissan 4,904 2.74 4,498 2.42

9.03

32,843 3.16 25,775 2.47 27.42
Perodua 52 0.03 58 0.03

-10.34

268 0.03 346 0.03 -22.54
Peugeot 10,725 5.98 11,359 6.11

-5.58

58,908 5.67 65,914 6.31 -10.63
Porsche 509 0.28 819 0.44

-37.85

3,384 0.33 4,318 0.41 -21.63
Proton 88 0.05 213 0.11

-58.69

838 0.08 1,190 0.11 -29.58
Renault 8,191 4.57 10,014 5.39

-18.20

49,417 4.76 57,122 5.47 -13.49
Rover 0 0.00 0 0.00

0.00

1 0.00 67 0.01 -98.51
Saab 1,457 0.81 2,117 1.14

-31.18

8,333 0.80 10,412 1.00 -19.97
SEAT 2,211 1.23 2,400 1.29

-7.88

14,449 1.39 14,867 1.42 -2.81
Skoda 3,339 1.86 3,146 1.69

6.13

17,706 1.71 16,265 1.56 8.86
smart 655 0.37 265 0.14

147.17

3,313 0.32 1,886 0.18 75.66
Ssangyong 69 0.04 106 0.06

-34.91

375 0.04 790 0.08 -52.53
Subaru 403 0.22 385 0.21

4.68

2,644 0.25 2,645 0.25 -0.04
Suzuki 1,732 0.97 2,392 1.29

-27.59

12,028 1.16 13,621 1.30 -11.70
Tata 0 0.00 0 0.00

0.00

1 0.00 1 0.00 0.00
Toyota 7,957 4.44 9,839 5.30

-19.13

50,458 4.86 55,297 5.29 -8.75
Vauxhall 25,663 14.32 25,332 13.63

1.31

143,206 13.79 143,383 13.73 -0.12
Volkswagen 16,581 9.25 14,975 8.06

10.72

85,217 8.21 82,486 7.90 3.31
Volvo 2,780 1.55 1,978 1.06

40.55

14,942 1.44 13,718 1.31 8.92
Other

British

101 0.06 30 0.02

236.67

454 0.04 320 0.03 41.88
Other

Imports

264 0.15 137 0.07

92.70

1,101 0.11 949 0.09 16.02
Total 1 7 9 2 7 2 1 8 5 7 9 7

-3.51

1 0 3 8 2 8 9 1 0 4 4 4 3 6 -0.59