Tuesday 11 August 2009

Car sales rise by 2.4% in July (UK)


UK new car sales have nudged upwards by 2.4% in July 2009 – the first increase for 15 months. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which collates registration figures, claimed that the scrappage scheme was responsible for the jump.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The impact of the scrappage scheme is clear and we are encouraged by the positive impact it has had, increasing new car registrations since April 2008. But the industry still faces a long road to recovery’.

Although Korean firms like Hyundai and Kia have benefited from the scheme, the Fiesta, Focus and Corsa all remain at the top of UK car sales charts. Other winners include Alfa Romeo, which is up 18% year to date and Abarth (which is listed separately from Fiat) is up a massive 3,410% on last year. That’ll be the new 500 Abarth then, but they’ve still only shifted 702 cars so far in 2009. Chrysler sales are down 49% on July last year and 72% year to date, Saab recording a 52% loss versus July last year and BMW is down 29% on 2008. Although Aston Martin enjoyed a 13% gain on July last year, it’s still down 34% on the first 7 months of the year. Jaguar was down 30% and 21% respectively.

The SMMT expects the 2009 UK car market to fall 14.4% on last year and a further 5% in 2010.

Ford Fiesta - 8,976, Focus - 7,934

Vauxhall Corsa - 5,920, Astra - 5,705

Volkswagen Golf - 4,101


Year-on-year new car sales in Germany were up 29.5% in July, as the success of the country’s scrappage incentive scheme continued.

Just under 340,000 units were sold in Germany last month, bringing total sales so far in 2009 to 2.4 million units, an increase of 26.6% on 2008 levels.

Sales in July were again led by smaller models, with Fiat, Peugeot, Renault and Skoda proving particularly popular. The German automotive industry association, VDA, said car production in Germany had stabilised at a low level, but said the industry faced a long uphill climb before sales and output reached the levels of 2007 and 2008.

Germany introduced its scrappage incentive scheme in February and it will run to the end of 2009. Buyers get a discount of €2,500 on a new car when they trade in a model aged 9 years or older.


Year-on-year new car sales in Russia in July fell 58% on 2008 levels, despite the government’s attempts to prop up the ailing car industry.

Data from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB) showed Russian sales fell by 58% to 115,483 units last month and this followed a 56% drop in June. Sales for the year to date were down 50% on 2008 levels to 879,144 units.

Unlike most European nations, Russia has not introduced a scrappage incentive scheme. It has assisted the industry by offering a subsidy to banks to lower the cost or new car loans. David Thomas, chairman of the AEB's automobile manufacturers committee, said: “We hope the actions taken by the government will start to reverse this trend during the summer, but urge close monitoring of the situation to ensure the actions are taking effect.”

Car manufacturers have expanded rapidly into Russia in recent years and it had expected to be Europe’s largest market for new car sales in 2009. Sales have suffered in the global recession as customers have found it difficult to obtain credit in Russia.

Market leader, Lada's sales were down 42% last month to 32,426 units. Chevrolet, Russia's second biggest selling brand, saw its volume drop by 59% to 7,798 units while third-ranked Ford was down 72% to 5,333 units sold. Sales at GM's Opel unit, which potential new owner, Magna wants to expand in Russia, fell 62% to 3,243 units. Opel ranks 11th in Russia with sales of 25,066 units so far in 2009.


Car sales in India rose by almost a third in July compared with the same month last year. Analysts say the dramatic rise is due to lower interest rates, Government stimulus packages, a reduction in excise duty rates towards the early part of the year and the growing presence of buyers in the rural markets.

Year-on-year sales rose by 31% in July, to 115,067 units, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. It is the sixth month in a row in which car sales have risen in India, and the trend is likely to continue.

The rise has also been boosted significantly by the first orders for the Tata Nano coming on stream. The budget car was launched in March, and so far 200,000 orders have been taken.

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