New car registrations fell 36.8 per cent
in November to 100,333 units with year-to-date
volume down 10.7 per cent to 2,023,104 units. Diesel market share
achieved record high of 47 per cent in November. The private market
was particularly weak in November, down 45.1 per cent.

  • Tony Worthy“November has been
    another difficult month for the motor industry and whilst some
    consumers may have delayed their purchases to take advantage of the
    recent VAT reductions, overall demand continues to fall”, said Paul
    Everitt, SMMT chief executive. ¡§Urgent action is now required to
    ease access to credit and finance, both to support consumers and
    meet the cash-flow needs of the industry”
  • Two finance companies have refused to insure British firms
    supplying Ford and General Motors in the UK. The decision will
    force hundreds of manufacturers across the country to consider
    whether they wish to consider taking the risk of supplying parts to
    the US car giants, who have been hit by a sharp fall in sales,
    reported The Independent. Euler Hermes and Atradius withdrew
    policies that guarantee payments from the companies, due to
    concerns about their financial standing. A third credit insurer,
    Coface, is considering removing the cover.
  • A number of manufacturers have announced measures to reduce
    production and cut costs:
    – Nissan said it would halt production of two models at its
    Sunderland plant in the North-East of England due to falling demand
    caused by the economic downturn. – Jaguar Land Rover is
    extending its voluntary redundancy scheme, which could lead to
    almost 600 jobs being cut.
    – Honda has announced plans to cut production at its plant in
    Swindon, which will close for 50 days next year.
    – Toyota has shocked analysts by announcing much lower than
    expected quarterly profits and slashing its earnings forecast for
    2008. The world’s biggest carmaker has lost its AAA credit rating
    with Fitch. However, even after the downgrade, Toyota is by far the
    highest-rated carmaker.
    – Volkswagen has become the first European carmaker during the
    financial crisis to say it would tap the European Central Bank for
    liquidity, in an unusual move that highlights how refinancing
    stress has hit the car industry.
    – Mini production is to be cut back and the factory closed for
    a month over Christmas.
    – Workers at the BMW-owned factories in Oxford and Swindon
    have been told the two-week Christmas shutdown is to be extended to
    four weeks this year.
  • Motor retail experts at Grant Thornton believe more than 1,000
    franchised outlets will close next year. Recessionary conditions
    are impacting on dealers and manufacturers, forcing them to take a
    more realistic view of the new car market.