No hope of big rise in new car sales
Sunday 06 August 1995
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders had counted 63,000 registrations two days into the month, 8.5 per cent higher than the 58,000 in the same period last year. Industry sources warned, however, that these figures were affected by the speed of processing and would not necessarily reflect numbers for a longer period.
More cars are usually sold in the first few days of August than in complete months at other times of year, so the industry watches the figures closely. This year there has been little optimism: sales have been flat or falling since autumn, and car companies have predicted that total August sales will be up to 5 per cent higher than in 1994.
A Peugeot spokesman said the first few days had been very busy as usual, "but our view is cautious. It looks as though the total might reach last year's level". A Vauxhall spokesman said it was expecting a rise of about 5 per cent in August. "We're still reckoning on a 475,000 ballpark figure, against 453,000 last year." Ford expects a similar figure.
Manufacturers, faced with fierce competition and the pros- pect of significant overproduction, have been offering some of the most attractive deals ever. Vauxhall has a scheme whereby customers can pay half the price of a car now and half in two years' time, with no intervening payments or interest added. A spokesman said that this offer had boosted sales significantly since it was launched in May, and had even led to a shortage of some models. Ford, meanwhile, has a range of well-equipped "specials" available, as well as incentives such a free mobile phone.
Only Rover, which has been trying to distance itself from the Ford-Vauxhall battle, has not been discounting heavily. Its UK market share in the year to date is 10 per cent, lower than for several years, but its export success has meant production has continued to rise. A spokesman said it expected Aug- ust sales to be very close to last year's. "It's disappointing that the market has not started to build up again, but we are lucky to have the rest of the world to build on," he said.
There had been predictions that tax changes that came into force on 1 August would provide a fillip from the fleet market. Companies leasing cars could not previously reclaim VAT on their payments - under the new regime they can. But the Rover spokesman said: "The perceived rush to change fleet cars hasn't happened." An industry source said that this could be because companies were waiting until the August rush was over, when it should be possible to get even better discounts.
The tax changes also have a marginal effect on leasing costs for individuals. They have been enough to encourage several companies, led by Ford, to set up personal leasing schemes in the hope that they will gain at least some of the momentum they have in the United States.
General Motors makes 40 per cent of its private sales to leasing customers, and it is becoming normal to see a "monthly payment" sticker on the windscreen, rather than the price. However, manufacturers are not yet saying how widely the UK schemes, which came into effect on 1 August, have been taken up.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 4 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who ran away after argument with her parents
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Sepp Blatter resigns: FBI are investigating outgoing Fifa president, claims report
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...