Press release

New car registrations | April 2020

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader's Commercial Director, shares his views on the latest new car registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

“With retailers forced to close the doors to their physical forecourts, it’ll come as no surprise to anyone to see just how dramatic an impact it’s had on the new car market. Some brands have been able to sell remotely, but uncertainty in the government’s guidelines or a lack of the required infrastructure to operate home delivery in a safe way, has limited it to all but a handful of retailers.

“Whilst the market is down significantly, our data does point to a market that has been paused, rather than stopped, and ready to return to health quickly once the restrictions have been lifted. Whilst traffic to our platforms has fallen, we’re still seeing circa 1 million visits every day. What’s more, our research of over 3,000 consumers conducted last week showed that only 2% have been put off from buying a new vehicle. In fact, 25% said they wanted to buy a vehicle as soon as they could, and 57% said they’d still buy in 2020.

“The same research showed that 48% public transport users would be less likely to use it as a result of social distancing anxieties, and for the same reason, 56% of driving licence holders who don’t currently own a vehicle would now consider buying one. It highlights the need for retailers to use this period to plan how they can implement measures that seek to reassure potential car buyers they can purchase a car safely. We’re confident the demand is there, but unless retailers are retail ready for when the restrictions lift, they’ll find themselves at a huge disadvantage to those that are. Something few can afford at such a challenging time.

“With potentially more people behind the wheel, there’s a chance for the industry to accelerate the adoption of low emission vehicles. However, it’ll be essential for manufacturers to push more EVs into their UK networks along with greater financial incentives. Discussions have already started in Germany and France, for example, into the possible introduction of scrappage schemes favouring low CO2 cars and EVs. Otherwise consumers will stick to what they know. It’ll be a wasted opportunity to drive positive change in the market and will push the government’s 2035 emissions ambitions further out of reach.”

Get set for forecourts opening on Monday with our latest #GetRetailReady #infographic revealing car buyer's thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/iEsnRun6j8 https://t.co/OPHraHWwX1
Auto Trader Highly Rated is back for 2020! Our Highly Rated Award recognises those car retailers delivering the very best in customer service. Find out when we will be announcing the 2020 Award recipients and what criteria you need to meet to qualify. https://t.co/3KF1MkqhfV https://t.co/LpmE65LbMw
Ian Plummer was invited onto @BBCNews this morning to discuss the latest manufacturing figures from the @SMMT. He took the opportunity to highlight the pent up demand in the market & all the measures #retailers have been taking to get #retailready ahead of #showrooms reopening https://t.co/uNmpEYMatT
Thanks James, kind of you to say and great to hear you've found the insight beneficial https://t.co/63vAiNfMfG
To help retailers get back to selling vehicles as quickly as possible, we're launching a new marketing campaign as well as introducing some of the biggest changes to our site in recent years designed to drive more buyers to your ads. Find out more here: https://t.co/JvfE40zohI https://t.co/dqnoP6x3G0
With showrooms set to open on Monday, we’ve put together a handy #infographic to take you through car buyers' thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/nqvKSP6X5t https://t.co/fUhwQ9j9Fq
Thanks to everyone for joining today's #webinar and of course thank you to our guest presenters @adamjt11 and @MikeHawesSMMT. Be sure to join next week and best of luck to those opening their doors next week #retailready https://t.co/qkAmfJw5kC
Catherine reveals the latest changes coming to the Auto Trader platform to improve the #userexperience and increase ad views and dwell time. https://t.co/EiIphIdQfH
Our latest consumer #marketing campaign is designed to give consumers confidence that they can join the car buying journey again and to push the message that #automotive is back in business!
Back to Catherine to talk about how we are helping consumers to get #retailready

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