It was Churchill that said, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it” and who are we to argue with the great man? With his words in mind, we’ve taken a look back at some important stats from 2017. Hopefully we’ve identified some key trends that will help resolve any stock buying dilemmas our motor trade clients might have in the coming months.
New Car Sales Slide but Small Rules
Looking at the top 5 vehicles sold in 2017, the super mini category is the clear winner and remains ever practical and popular for a majority of the car buying public. That is with the exception of the Nissan Qashqai, which continues to prove a family favourite.
Best Selling New Car Sales in 2017:
Overall, the new cars market declined in 2017 for the first time in six years. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show that units fell by -5.7%, reaching a total of 2,540,617. Diesel registrations were especially hard hit, with a reduction of 17.1%.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s Chief Executive, attributes the drop to “falling business and consumer confidence” and the government’s “confusing anti-diesel messaging.” On the plus side, this is still the third highest level in a decade.
More Choice Than Ever
In 2017, consumers benefited from a choice between 350 different models available in various fuel types and body styles. And 2018 promises even more, with another 59 new models set to make their showroom debuts. Manufacturers are already promoting exciting technological advances in the areas of anti-collision and semi-autonomous functionality. Consumers are rightly going to expect to be able to buy a vehicle that meets their exact lifestyle and driving needs.
What’s the Nation’s Favourite Car Colour? Black to the Top
Black has regained the title of the UK’s new car buyers favourite colour. It’s taken back the number 1 spot after five years off the top. SMMT figures revealed that just over 1 in 5 buyers (515,970) plumped for black in 2017. Grey emerged as the runner up (500,714) with a jump of 2.5% on its previous year’s sales figures. Whilst white dropped down to third (422,099) after four years in pole position. Intriguingly, the nation’s favourite car, the Ford Fiesta was bought most often in blue, despite it being only the 4th most popular colour choice overall.
Consumers are Plugging in to Car Grants
2017 saw a 26.8% rise in the number of (non-commercial) vehicles purchased that were eligible for the government’s plug-in car grant. The number rose to 45,187 from 35,632. However, this increase still takes the total to just 1.78% of all new cars purchased.
The grant was introduced in 2011 and provides buyers of the cleanest new vehicles, up to £4,500 off their purchase. However it appears consumers are failing to be convinced in significant numbers that electric is the way to go, even though multiple new electric models have recently hit the market with greatly extended battery ranges. Recent reports that only five local authorities have taken advantage of a £4.5 million government fund that offers to cover 75% of the cost of installing on-street chargers, may provide some insight as to why!
Watch out for the White (Ford Transit) Van Man
Light commercial models saw their first drop in sales since 2012. However the market remains buoyant with total sales reaching the third highest tally in a decade. Overall 362,149 new vans and pick-ups were snapped up on the UK’s commercial motor forecourts. The ladies and gentlemen at Ford will be particularly pleased with their efforts as a variation of a Transit occupies 3 out of the top 5 positions when the sales are broken down by make and model.
Best Selling Light Commercial Vehicles 2017: