Press release

New car registrations | March 2019

Ian Plummer offers his view on March's new car performance

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader director, commented:

Despite the growing levels of economic instability and ongoing fuel-type confusion, the market is showing admirable resilience at a time when the industry needs it most. And with the much feared ‘no-deal Brexit’ yet to transpire, the solid market performance should continue into the weeks to come.

“With January to March accounting for around a third of annual sales, retailers and manufacturers have been keen to get a strong Q1 under their belt to offset any potential post-Brexit slowdown. Our research shows that 68% of consumers believe Brexit will lead to general price increases, and it’s not surprising with brands such as Porsche warning that it could result in British car buyers incurring a 10% increase on new car prices. Brands have done a good job capitalising on this uncertainty, offering great deals to entice car buyers into showrooms.

“The immediate outlook remains positive too; not only are Brexit negotiations far from being finalised, but thanks to brands bringing forward stock levels to help boost Q1, there’ll be plenty of deals still available to fuel consumer demand. And based on the stand out success of SUVs last month, which now account for over a third of new car sales, retailers would be wise to make the most of this ongoing love affair.”   

Commenting on the growth of AFVs, Ian continued: “We can see how next week’s introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is influencing consumer behaviour in London; searches for AFVs have surged 81% on our market place in just 12 months, whilst diesels declined by a third. It highlights the huge opportunity for market growth AFVs represent; we just need to make it easier for consumers to buy them.

“Vital to this growth, and ultimately the government’s Road to Zero ambitions, will be overcoming the current challenges surrounding the supply of the latest electric models. This will include making the UK a more attractive proposition for manufacturers who are growing increasingly wary of potential tariffs and border delays.

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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