Motor Month


• The key September market with the new ’57’ plate saw
volumes rise by 1.3 per cent. The total year-to-date registrations
were up 2 per cent to 1,940,515 units. September diesel
registrations increased by 6.7 per cent to 167,031 units.
Alternatively-fuelled vehicles’ year-to-date registrations jumped
82.1 per cent.
 “September has traditionally been the strongest month for
registrations after March – and this year it has exceeded
expectations with 419,290 new cars motoring out of showrooms,” said
Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. “With climate change
issues at the forefront of everyone’s agenda, it is encouraging to
note the rise in uptake of low-carbon vehicles. Motorists are
increasingly playing their part in tackling environmental impact
and the SMMT’s annual Sustainability Report, launched on October 9,
highlights progress the UK automotive manufacturing sector has made
over the last eight years.”

• After May and June’s softening of fleet values, July and
August have seen prices stabilise and rise slightly, according to
Manheim’s latest Market Bulletin. Average used prices increased in
August from £5,613 in July to £5,689, a rise of £76 despite average
mileages being up by 1,000 to 53,800 and a two-month increase in
average age to 44 months. This now puts the average sale price of
an ex-fleet car £444 ahead of August 2006, reinforcing how values
have increased over the past 12 months, with the percentage of
‘cost new’ retained also ahead year-on-year by 2 per cent at 35 per

 Looking at fuel variants, the largest price increase was in
the diesel sector which rose £239 from £6,526 in July to £6,765 in
August with little change in age and mileage at 40 months and
64,000 miles respectively. 

 Meanwhile petrol variant prices fell by £84 to £4,685, but
this will have been influenced by a two-month increase in average
age to 47 months and average mileages rising by 2,357 miles to
44,242 miles.

 Manheim’s latest report continues to illustrate the
consistent gap in fleet replacement cycles with petrol models being
replaced at around four years and at the 45,000-mile mark, while
diesels are being defleeted at just over three years and around
65,000 miles.

• One in 20 of BMW’s 155 UK dealers could be axed under a
shake-up planned for early next year.

BMW is reviewing its network and dealers will have to reapply for
their franchises, according to BMW UK managing director Jim

 The company is also reviewing the bonuses it pays to dealers
for hitting sales targets and will set up its own “BMW Direct”
internet sales site.