UK auto sector puts rest of Europe in the shade

jlr300factoryThe UK automotive sector continues to defy gravity with new car registrations rising almost 15% in April and 9% (768,555 units) in the year so far – a performance that has put the rest of Europe in the shade.

SMMT Interim Chief Executive, Mike Baunton said: “The UK continues to perform well ahead of the troubled Eurozone as consumer confidence, regular purchase cycles, attractive finance deals and wider market factors continue to make new car buying favourable for motorists.”

David Raistrick, UK Manufacturing leader at the blue chip business consultancy Deloitte, believed the UK remained “a ray of light” in a gloomy European market whose performance would be markedly worse were it not for the UK’s bullish performance.

While it would be a couple of weeks before the like for like performance of the UK market could be compared with Europe, the first quarter provided “a startling level of perspective,” Raistrick said.

He continued: “The UK in the first three months of the year has closed the gap with Germany; from 210,000 cars to March 2012 to just 68,000 in 2013. The UK is now the second largest market for new car sales in Europe, with sales 39% ahead of France and 70% ahead of Italy. With no automotive green shoots showing in continental Europe, it will be natural for OEMs to be looking closely on the UK market over the coming months.”

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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