Motor Month

  • The monthly new car registration volume of 158,735 is the best
    November figure since 2004. The market in 2007 looks set to surpass
    2.4m registrations. “2007 has seen the new car market recover
    slightly, but we are still a long way from the records set in
    2003,” said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT
    chief executive. Diesel’s market share reached its highest ever
    level at 45.3 per cent in November. “It is really encouraging to
    see the growth in diesel registrations, and this is expected to
    exceed 40 per cent of the total market by the end of 2007,”
    Macgowan added. “New diesel engines are around 20 per cent more
    fuel-efficient than a petrol equivalent – good news for the
    motorist at times of rising fuel costs, and good news for the
    environment too.”
  • The managing director of BMW UK, Jim O’Donnell, has warned that
    the emissions targets that may be imposed by the European
    Parliament may mean the end for luxury car makers. Brands such as
    BMW,
    Jaguar
    and Land
    Rover
    were highlighted as being brands that have a product
    portfolio that is at risk from being legislated off the road. Such
    comments may have caused the management of Ford Motor Company some
    consternation, as the final round of negotiations is entered into
    for the sale of both Jaguar and Land Rover. 
  • The UK has officially become a nation of super mini lovers,
    according to Experian.
    Its latest used car sales statistics have revealed that sales of
    super minis, such as the Renault
    Clio and the Nissan
    Micra, overtook sales of small family (lower medium) cars, such as
    the Ford Focus or the Vauxhall
    Astra, during the first half of 2007, making it the most popular
    selling used car segment in the UK. The lower medium segment has
    been the nation’s favourite type of car since Experian first
    started collating the used car sales data in 1999. However, the gap
    between lower medium cars and super minis has been closing each
    year and during first six months of the 2007, sales of super minis
    reached 1,108,051 – 0.2 per cent higher than sales of lower
    mediums. 
  • The UK’s parents are bankrolling the purchase of their
    children’s first car. Over 11m drivers have received a helping hand
    from Mum, Dad or Granny to finance their first motor, according to
    Zurich Insurance. Parents and grandparents have splashed out an
    average of £2,400 for their child or grandchild’s first car – with
    some parents (14 per cent) generously contributing more than
    £5,000. They are even giving cars as presents with one in 10 (11
    per cent) buying the car for birthdays and five per cent giving
    them as a present for doing well in exams. It is not just the
    initial purchase of the vehicle that parents are paying out for –
    with the average cost to keep a car on the road hitting £1,776.62
    (based on day-to-day costs like vehicle tax, fuel and maintenance),
    29 per cent of parents and grandparents are contributing over
    £1,000 a year to the maintenance of their child or grandchild’s car
    as well.