Recently we reported how the British car industry had bucked the down trend and how car sales were up for the first time since the 2008 recession as were . This has been good news, however the European downturn, especially in Germany has sent reverberations through Britain’s car manufacturing industry.
It has been claimed that 2011 was a very significant year for British motoring, and if you have read our previous blog posts about sales increasing for the likes of Bentley and the fact that car production has been rising, then you too will hopefully agree!
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have again been discussing the state of the UK motor industry.
Impact on the British Economy
The Chief Executive of the SMMT, Paul Everitt, has been speaking about the plans that have been announced by global vehicle manufacturers to invest a whopping £4 billion into Britain’s economy. Now of course this money isn’t in order to bail us out of the financial crisis.
It is instead to be spent on a whole variety of different projects. Such projects will range from the introduction of all-new vehicles to the development of sustainable and low carbon technology; something that will therefore be beneficial to the economy and the environment simultaneously.
Mr Everitt has been quoted saying the following: “Despite the uncertainty within the Eurozone, these decisions demonstrate real confidence in the future of UK manufacturing and its role within a rebalanced economy.” Mr Everitt also seems to get more vocal space on our MotorMouthBlog than he does elsewhere!
It is apparent that much of the investment has come from international sources which suggest that the country’s future prospects could also look to be improving. The influx of money will also surely lead to more and more jobs being created which in turn would hopefully lead to the reduction of unemployment. In addition, hopefully the public will then begin investing further in new cars over the next twelve months, whilst also then requiring more people to purchase motor insurance. Further positives for the economy, and the country in general there then!
The news about the £4 billion influx has come after individuals and organisations have been invited to put themselves forward for this year’s Transport Achievement Award. The award ceremony will be announced at the International Transport Forum’s summit in Germany.
Let’s hope 2012 will see things improve further for the UK motor industry and the economy as well.
Bentley have seen UK sales increase by over 20% last month according to the latest statistics that have been released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). According to the stats, the Crewe-based firm have sold 65 cars in the UK in November, this is 20.4% more than the same period in 2010.
So far this year, Bentley has sold a total of 986 cars in the UK. This is up by 4.5% during the same period last year. This is encouraging news for the automotive sector and those more exotic, luxury car makers. The number of luxury car owners looking for car insurance cover has, therefore, increased this year.
The economic recession has hit us all hard and big businesses have been suffering too. Especially those that manufacture luxury products, such as expensive cars, as less and less people feel the need to own one during times of financial uncertainty. Of course, the price for motor insurance on such expensive vehicles will have put many people off during the economic downturn.
A Bentley spokesman has been commenting on the recent revival they have seen however: “Bentley continues to do well, with global sales up around 30 per cent in November, continuing the annual trend which is seeing total sales increase by around one-third in 2011. Chinese growth is relentless as we surpassed 1,500 cars in the region for the first time.” Many car firms have seen great sales in China as the country continues to prosper.
The spokesman added: “However, established markets such as America and Europe are also increasing, reflecting strong demand for the Mulsanne and, in particular, the new Continental GT. The UK was up despite the on-going economic uncertainty but with the new Continental GTC reaching dealers from December, the prospects for the New Year are promising.”
It is little surprise that Bentley will be excited by what 2012 could bring them, with new models on the horizon and increasing sales forecast.
The SMMT has reported that the total amount of UK car sales declined by 4.2% in November to 134,027 units, however, this is still 5,000 units above the SMMT’s forecast. This year, thus far, total vehicle registrations are down by 4.5%, at 1,822,065 units.
The SMMT feel that the market will better its full year forecast of 1.923 million, however, they added that they are remaining cautious for 2012. Nothing can really be taken for granted in such an unstable economy!
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders it appears that thousands fewer car drivers got a motor insurance quote on a new vehicle last month compared to March 2010.
Sales figures well down on last March
The latest statistics released by the motoring organisation reveals that over 30,000 less new cars were purchased last month compared to the same month last year. The figures will disappoint those in the industry but it will not come as a big shock. In fact some will be quite heartened by the news. The Government Scrappage Scheme, which SMMT’s Chief Executive Paul Everitt says saved the industry, no longer has any impact on this year’s figures but was still around this time last year. Taking the scrappage figures away from the March 2010 sales means this March actually saw an improvement, say some experts.
Industry expects a better second half
It is certainly true that the sales figures for March were an improvement on those of January and the 8.7% drop in sales the first quarter of the year is in line with industry expectations. The industry reckons a decline in sales of 5% over the year will take place with second half of 2011 seeing stronger sales than the first half.
Private sales crumbling
Further inspection of the statistics reveals that fleet car sales along with business car sales actually improved in March, it was the massive 17% drop in private car sales that did the damage. It is this figure that will worry those in the industry more than any other. The poor Retail Sales index performance over the first quarter of the year will have not gone unnoticed by motor manufacturers and if the general public really is tightening their belt, then motorists looking for new car insurance really will become a rarer sight.
Will the government do its bit?
Paul Everitt is adamant in his assertion that British motor manufacturing is a buoyant business, but equally adamant that the Government has a part to play in assuring its future. He believes that Government subsidies on the new generation of eco vehicles are a must, as is Government intervention in the price of fuel. He also said the industry would not welcome a hike in the Bank of England interest rate.
Britain’s car market was stronger than expected in June, showing a surprise 10.8% rise in registrations, meaning not just a rise in people getting a motor insurance quote for a new car, but also that the car market in the United Kingdom was stronger than expected according to the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders). However analysts forecast that demand for new vehicles will go back to a negative number during the last six months of the year, with the £2,000 scrappage incentive, which boosted demand among buyers ending. The new business secretary Vince Cable, last week told one newspaper that the emergency in the car making industry was now over and that the car industry could no longer count on any direct government aid.