US Car Market Round-Up – to end September 2009

Even when it’s in distress the US Car & LCV Market posts large numbers, compared to European markets at least. At the present rate it’s on course to sell 9.2 MN units in 2009. Sounds a lot, except that in 2008 – a bad year – it sold 13.2MN and in 2007 it sold 16.1MN. Compared to those ‘good old days’ of ’07, the market is down 43%. That helps to explain why the Obama Government was so keen to help out with the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ programme (Official name – Car Allowance Rebate System or ‘CARS’).  It was launched on the 24th July 2009 with a $1BN budget and was expected to last until 1st November. In fact, it ran out of money after just one week and the US Government had to add another $2BN. But, even with that funding, the pent-up demand for cars was so great that the programme  ran through the extra cash and had to be closed on the 25th August 2009, having supported 700,000 new car deals. The entire programme lasted 4 weeks! A roaring success? Wait and see.

Read more

When will the UK car market recession end and what comes next?

The UK Car Market is almost in lockstep with the UK economy as measured by GDP. As GDPrises and falls, so does the new car market. Conflicting signals have resulted in experts being divided on the UK’s future economic direction. But, whichever way it goes, there may not be much relief for cash-strapped SME car dealers. Car makers are likely to re-build their profitability at the expense of their dealer networks.

Read more

UK Vehicle Scrapping Incentive: helpful to dealers but not much in it for UK car makers!

While UK dealers welcomed the recent extension to the UK Scrappage Scheme, it probably hasn’t reached it’s primary goal: getting UK car and van makers out of their sales slump. Since April 2009, the month before the scheme was launched up to the end of August only 92,000 UK built cars were registered, although the UK Government subsidised three times that many deals. Who won? The Koreans!

Read more