Thursday 10 July 2008

Car sales fall again (UK)

Car sales have fell again in the UK. Latest figures from SMMT showed an 11.9% fall in private sales in June 2008 to 83,425 cars. That’s the biggest month-on-month drop since February 2006.

Even for fleet buyers, the June 2008 figures look bad. Demand was down by 6.1%, the steepest drop so far in 2008. Total new car registrations in quarter two were down 2.5%, compared to a 0.7% fall in quarter one.

Yet for months, new car sales seemed to be defying the gloom. The huge March 2008 market, which takes around 17% of total sales in a year, held up well. Sales to private buyers fell 1.4% compared to the previous year, but that still meant 222,788 new cars left showrooms. Industry experts had forecasted far worse, and despite the suggestion that pre-registrations were propping up a faltering market, it is clear that things have got a lot worse. In quarter two, private demand fell 7.9%, on the back of a more modest 2.4% fall in quarter one.

China also saw slow car sales. Car sales in China rose 14.2% in the first half, lower than an earlier expectation of 20%, as more stringent macroeconomic control policies and record high oil prices curbed purchases. Domestic carmakers sold a combined 3.3 million passenger vehicles, including sedans, MPV's, SUV's and minibuses, from January through June. Production rose 16.9% to 3.6 million vehicles during the same period. Though sales in June grew 13% to 517,469 units, it was the third consecutive month that sales growth has begun to flatten out, triggering concerns about a slowdown in the overall market for this year.

Industry officials blamed the reversal on floods in south China, which meant some carmakers stopped production and suspended vehicle shipments. Half-year sales of sedans rose 13% to 2.39 million units while SUVs, including crossovers, posted a 41.7% sales jump to 211,885 units. Sales of MPVs climbed 2.4% to 106,297 units. Shanghai VW was first among China's top-selling car manufactures in June, with retail sales of 40,124 units. Next came FAW-VW and Shanghai GM, which sold 38,908 and 35,189 vehicles, respectively. Like a number of its competitors, General Motors posted slower sales growth in China for the first half of this year, a victim of weaker market demand and keen competition.

While the total industry rose more than 14% in the first six months, GM boosted its half-year sales in China by 12.7% to a record 590,126 vehicles. That compares with a growth rate of 19% last year. GM cited the strength of its Chevrolet brand in China. Sales of Chevrolet vehicles, including the popular Lova small sedan and the new Epica mid-sized sedan, jumped 34.6% in the first half to 109,131 units. Both models are made by Shanghai GM, a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. Shanghai GM's flagship Buick brand said its first-half sales reached 146,321 units, including 90,604 Buick Excelles; GM launched a revamped version earlier this year. Sales of the Cadillac luxury brand hit 3,285 units in the first half of the year.

In Australia, it seems that the credit crunch is yet to affect buyers since the sales of SUV's and mid-sized sedans were booming. Toyota enjoyed selling over 25,500 units with the Corolla hatcback taking most of the sales.

In Brazil, Korean car firm, SsangYong saw sales rise by 1,873% jump in sales for June 2008, compared to June of 2007. The brand sold 750 units from January to June 2008, while it sold only 38 units in the same period last year. In June only, Ssangyong sold 182 units of its sport-utility vehicles. It sold 11 units in the same month last year.

Related link:

Car sales plummet in the UK

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...