Fleet buyers push new car sales higher

Insights

Fleet buyers push new car sales higher

Friday 6 February 2015

Fleet buyers could have a growing impact on the UK’s new car market this year, according to Deloitte.

  • Fleet car registrations climbed by 18.1% in January 2015.
  • New car sales were 6.7% higher overall.
  • Almost 165,000 units were registered, according to the SMMT.

Around 2.47 million new cars were registered in 2014, the strongest reading in a decade

Fleet buyers could become the main driving force behind new car sales this year, Deloitte indicates, following the release of positive industry data.

The number of fleet car registrations rose by 18.1% in January 2015, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports.

Across all sectors, 164,856 new car registrations were recorded, with the total rising by 6.7% year-on-year.

According to the SMMT:

  • The new car market has now grown over 35 consecutive months.
  • Last month delivered the strongest January sales reading in eight years.
  • Around 2.47 million new cars were registered in 2014, the strongest reading in a decade.

The view from Deloitte
After reviewing the SMMT data, David Raistrick, Deloitte’s UK automotive leader, suggested that fleet buyers may have a bigger influence on the new car market this year.

“With a number of new and refreshed models available aimed squarely at the fleet sector, it may well be that fleet will regain its position as the largest player in the new car market,” he said.

Since low-rate finance deals are still widely available, he added that the retail market should continue to perform well.

Impact of eurozone uncertainty
However, Mr Raistrick warned that economic uncertainty could prevent the fleet market from achieving its full potential.

British companies may look to postpone their fleet investment plans until questions about the stability of the eurozone are answered, he said.

The recent debate about whether Greece can afford to meet its bailout payments has raised concerns among some economists.

And Mr Raistrick said chief financial officers were already voicing concerns about weaknesses in the single-currency bloc before the Greek general election.

2015 growth unlikely to beat last year
Deloitte’s predictions for the new car market have not been altered, despite the January improvement reported by the SMMT.

“Overall, our prediction remains unchanged for 2015, with overall sales for the year unlikely to exceed 2014 levels,” Mr Raistrick concluded.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright Press Association 2015 

“Overall, our prediction remains unchanged for 2015, with overall sales for the year unlikely to exceed 2014 levels,” David Raistrick, Deloitte’s UK automotive leader

Did you find this useful?