The UK car market started to recover in October, following a poor September

UK car registrations dropped by a modest 2.9% in October year on year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, following a tumultuous few months for the car industry.

In August, sales rose by 23.1% as manufacturers tried to shift as much stock as possible before new WLTP emissions regulations were introduced in September. 

Then, in September – the second most important month for car sales after March due to the numberplate change – registrations fell by a massive 20% because of those regulatory changes, which meant that many car makers had not managed to test all of their models under the new rules.

Now, the market appears to be balancing out, though the 2.9% fall is still being blamed on the same issue. The SMMT said “model changes and backlogs at test houses conducting tough new WLTP emissions certification continued to cause shortages across some brands”.

While registrations are down 2.9% to 135,599 units in October, year-to-date, the car sector is down 7.2% compared with the same period last year.

The SMMT said that “some pull-back is hoped for during the remainder of the year as current supply issues ease, enabling manufacturers to cater for pent-up demand on certain models”.

The demise of diesel-powered cars continued, with registrations falling 21.3% in October, while those of petrol models increased by 7.1%.

Alternatively fuelled vehicles, including electric and plug-in hybrid models, grew by 30.7%, with 10,597 units sold.

However, this sector is expected to be hit imminently, following the government’s announcement that it will reduce its plug-in grant for electric cars and withdraw it completely for plug-in hybrids. The SMMT said that due to lead times, the full impact of that move may not be seen for several months.

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SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Vehicle excise duty upheaval, regulatory changes and confusion over diesel have all made their mark on the market this year so it’s good to see plug-in registrations buck the trend. Demand is still far from the levels needed to offset losses elsewhere, however, and is making government’s decision to remove purchase incentives even more baffling. 

“We’ve always said that world-class ambitions require world-class incentives and, even before the cuts to the grant, those ambitions were challenging. We need policies that encourage rather than confuse. Government’s forthcoming review of WLTP’s impact on taxation must ensure that buyers of the latest, cleanest cars are not unfairly penalised, else we will see older, more polluting cars remain on the road for longer.”

The Ford Fiesta remains the top seller in the UK, selling 84,890 units year-to-date and 5,564 in October. The Volkswagen Golf is the second-best-seller in October, followed by the Mercedes A-Class and Volkswagen Tiguan

Read more

UK car registrations drop by 20% in September

Ford Fiesta review

Details on the reduced plug-in car grant 

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13

5 November 2018

  Car sales are still precarious, will there be and end to discount on any Car?, the Government has taken the Legs from the Car trade, removing or lowering the grants is shear folly, being cynical, I can’t help thinking there’s an alterior motive behind doing it, and the Motor Trade and us the buyers, drivers are being sqeeezed to fund it.....

Peter Cavellini.

5 November 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

  Car sales are still precarious, will there be and end to discount on any Car?, the Government has taken the Legs from the Car trade, removing or lowering the grants is shear folly, being cynical, I can’t help thinking there’s an alterior motive behind doing it, and the Motor Trade and us the buyers, drivers are being sqeeezed to fund it.....

This is BONKERS. 10 years ago we bailed out the banks and that was that. 10 years ago we bailed out the car industry with scrappage schemes. Now the car industry wishes for more bailouts to deal with the fact that they profiteered during the good times on Diesel car sales. And they want the government (eg. the tax payer) to pick up the cost for rolling out electric charging, when companies like Tesla have shown you can make a profit as a car company and invest in Superchargers.

So we've berrated Bankers all this time, yet the Car Industry and their executives are FAR WORSE. They chase continuous government subsidies from countries for keeping their factories open, they knew years ago about the goal for environmental improvements and left it too late to invest or transition to electrification. Now they want our help to deal with the fact that they were too slow to change and want even more money to support electrification. 

This is a truly aweful industry with executives taking huge salaries whilst asking us the consumer to pay both the sticker price and through taxation to keep them in their ivory towers avoiding any customer accountability. 

And despite the promises and claims you read in Autocar from these car execs, it'll be 2022 before we see any cars that are capable of matching the battery, performance, production scale and charging technology we see in products like the Tesla Model 3.

The similarities between the market situation when the iPhone arrived to disrupt the market are uncanny. However, if the car companies were Nokia, Blackberry et all, they think they are worthy of tax payer money to cover their lack of innovation and leadership competence. 

As tax payers, lets not support this!

 

Lotus Evora 400

5 November 2018
wheelman wrote:

...when companies like Tesla have shown you can make a profit as a car company and invest in Superchargers.

WTF! That's straight out of the Donald Trump school of facts.

This might come as quite a shock so you better sit down...

In the first three months of 2018, Tesla made a net loss of over £500m dollars.  No problem for Musk as he promised a profit by end of year.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/comment/reply/88262/259655?quote=1#comment-form

However Tesla's latest announcement in August of this year was a quarterly loss of over $700million dollars. You do realise Tesla has only ever made two quarter profits in it's entire history?

Or perhaps Autocar is part of the fake news cartel?

 

5 November 2018
scotty5 wrote:

wheelman wrote:

...when companies like Tesla have shown you can make a profit as a car company and invest in Superchargers.

WTF! That's straight out of the Donald Trump school of facts.

In the first three months of 2018, Tesla made a net loss of over £500m dollars.  No problem for Musk as he promised a profit by end of year.

Looks like you are behind the times. Here is the latest filing: 

Tesla Third Quarter 2018 Update GAAP net income of $312M, non-GAAP net income of $516M Operating income of $417M and operating margin of 6.1% Free cash flow of $881M supported by operating cash flow of $1.4B $3.0B of cash and cash equivalents at Q3-end, increased by $731M in Q3 Model 3 GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin > 20% in Q3

Lotus Evora 400

5 November 2018
wheelman wrote:

Looks like you are behind the times. Here is the latest filing: 

Tesla Third Quarter 2018 Update GAAP net income of $312M, non-GAAP net income of $516M Operating income of $417M and operating margin of 6.1% Free cash flow of $881M supported by operating cash flow of $1.4B $3.0B of cash and cash equivalents at Q3-end, increased by $731M in Q3 Model 3 GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin > 20% in Q3

Source?

6 November 2018
wheelman wrote:

This is a truly aweful industry with executives taking huge salaries whilst asking us the consumer to pay both the sticker price and through taxation to keep them in their ivory towers avoiding any customer accountability. 

 

do you not pay sticker price for your milk in the super market? what is wrong with a retailer trying to sell a product for what the manufacturer recommends? It is buyers who expect every penny of margin in discount that is destroying the new car market, making pre-register schemes and government grants a must have to try and keep some sort of profit in their sales.

 

5 November 2018

The facts are that cars / motoring are now seen with a slight toxicity (pun intended) allied to the fact that "the ICE product" aka cars are soon to be outlawed...2032, maybe 2040 no one is really certain about that either so unless you have enterprise or tax reasons it's best to get uber cabs or buy something (faintly exotic?) secondhand for the time being and escape the "VED tax soup". The motoring industry is by definition in decline and the public are certain about that.

5 November 2018

Saw a BMW 1 series today on a 56 plate making it 12 years old but it could've been a 1 year old car in terms of design and condition. Ditto a Swift or a 8 year old Q3, factor in these cars have air-con, air bags, cruise control, central locking, electric windows and can cruise at 80, non-car nuts just don't feel the need to upgrade like the old days.

In addition I expect around 16 years from todays cars which is a vast improvement compared my first mk1 Escort and Mk2 Fiesta XR2 which had an expected life of 12 years old before rust sent them to heaven. Their were safer, quicker and posher, just how much better is the Mk4 Focus than the MK3.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

5 November 2018

tesla have absolutely not shown it’s possibie to make a profit - they made an operating profit in one quarter. Now, they might continue making operating profits from now on (that’s not certain) but they haven’t made an overall profit in any period (ie after deducting financing costs - and that’s with lots of subsidies and a one off fantastically cheap purchase of a factory complex that saved a fortune) and, to date, have made thumping great accumulated losses. 

5 November 2018
oop north wrote:

tesla have absolutely not shown it’s possibie to make a profit - they made an operating profit in one quarter. Now, they might continue making operating profits from now on (that’s not certain) but they haven’t made an overall profit in any period (ie after deducting financing costs - and that’s with lots of subsidies and a one off fantastically cheap purchase of a factory complex that saved a fortune) and, to date, have made thumping great accumulated losses. 

FACTS:

Tesla: Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $0.5 billion

Fiat Chrysler: Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $17.6 billion

General Motors: Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $50.3 billion

Ford Motor Co: Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $27.6 billion

However, it would be fair to say that Tesla has been a more subtantial benefitiary from various tax credits that could equally have been won by any other car company had they offered an EV product to incent consumers moving to electic cars.

Lotus Evora 400

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