Press release

SMMT 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.”

It would seem Gen-Z'ers are now flocking to driving as COVID-19 restrictions get stricter. Find out more including insights from @REDDriving https://t.co/phgW2Ese7g #atinsightoftheday #GenZ https://t.co/P6chl5PmcB
Right now our panel of judges are busy reviewing the self-nomination award entries for this year’s Auto Trader Retailer Awards. Who will they decide are this year’s winners? Find out by registering to join the awards live on the 23rd October at 1pm > https://t.co/ZdjzevlJd3 https://t.co/rpobMrn4yf
In this week’s webinar Nathan Coe & @MarshallMotorGp will be discussing: -September's performance -How the job retention scheme might impact the #automotiveindustry -How #cardealers can finish the year strong & reach their year end objectives Register at https://t.co/yfbWqH66RA https://t.co/8rHpHIsSEG
Next week will see the launch of Retailer Performance Masterclasses (RPM) our all new online masterclass hub. Find out all you need to know in our latest blog post from @chrispenny222 > https://t.co/UUmrTQzbKa #RPM #autotrader #masterclass #insights #bestpractices #cardealers https://t.co/CzREOLoLbW
Our latest audience figures show no signs that last week’s Government announcement has impacted buyer demand with over 2 million visits to our site and 20 million minutes being spent on site by buyers looking for their next vehicle each day last week. #atinsightoftheday https://t.co/h0uTNtWuet
We've got something very exciting launching soon... Wednesday 7th October, save the date 👀 #RPM https://t.co/op0RVqngLN
The @KiaUK Sorento is currently the UK’s fastest selling car, taking an average of just 24 days to turn on UK forecourts according to our Fastest Selling Index. #atinsightoftheday #kia #mazda #peugeot #mercedes-benz https://t.co/0amym8KyIK
Join us on Thursday at 10am for our next #webinar to hear our latest #automotiveindustry updates and #insights and to hear from our CEO, Nathan Coe and @MarshallMotorGp Register now >https://t.co/knn3yUlJ3l https://t.co/HaxCu2EFss
Nathan Coe, our CEO, shared an update with our customers today reassuring them that Boris' announcement earlier this week has had no negative impact on consumer demand. Read Nathan's full thoughts on our latest blog post: https://t.co/sx37kiEHBY
Used car prices continue to climb with last week seeing overall used car prices increase by 7.7%, up from 7.4% the week before and the 20th week of consecutive price growth. #atinsightoftheday #usedcar #Pricing #Petrol #diesel #ElectricCars https://t.co/dmR56DmzNf

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