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Deloitte and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) comment on critical September car registration figures

4 October 2012

The latest car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show a 8.2% increase in September to 359,612 units compared with September 2011.

Simon Manning, manufacturing partner at Deloitte in Yorkshire, said:

“September is regarded as a critical month for the industry, accounting for around a fifth of the full year’s registrations, so the latest figures are certainly fantastic news for the automotive sector. Up until now, new car registrations in the UK have been broadly as expected, while a review of numbers for the rest of Europe indicate registrations are massively lower than last year and some countries definitely showing themselves to be in freefall.

“Perhaps the more interesting question is what this tells us about the UK market which, based on the numbers alone, would appear to be holding up particularly well. The question is one of whether the UK is defying gravity by comparison to Europe due a stronger economy, a pent-up demand for new cars or a mixture of exceptionally good deals on offer and other techniques being adopted to artificially keep registration levels where they were planned.

“Looking forward to the next 12 months, there is no doubt that if manufacturers do not see the return of new car sales across mainland Europe, they will need to look to other markets to take up the difference. This will obviously involve increased sales to other parts of the world, but could very easily also include a significant number of right hand drive build cars being pushed into the UK market. My prognosis for new car sales over the coming year would be fairly bleak, other than for the reality that manufacturers may find themselves necessarily needing to offer extremely attractive deals to buy new cars in the UK. Without heavy manufacturer support we will see new car sales fall.”

Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, comments:

“September is typically a strong month for new car registrations with the September plate change boosting sales. There are also a number of great retail offers and finance packages currently available to consumers which are tempting people into show rooms and customers are now willing to buy if the offer is right.”

Ends

About Deloitte:
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, one of the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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