Compared to previous years, when November has traditionally been seen as a slow month, this month is showing signs of a pick-up in sales as the country emerges from the economic slow-down, and consumers feel a renewed confidence.
One of the reasons for the surge in interest in the motor trade is the availability of finance, with low interest rates available again and more applications, particularly for personal contract purchases, being reported in recent months. Consumers are also changing their car buying habits as dealers are saying there is less of a seasonality apparent in the sale of 4x4s and convertibles, and sales of smaller, more fuel efficient cars are still buoyant.
Figures for sales in November of 2012 and 2011 were well-down on pre-recession levels, but fleet sales continued to grow. Motor trade has risen steadily in the last year and a half though, and August 2013 marked the 18th month of consecutive growth for the sector, and was notable as being the highest month for car sales since 2007. Commercial car sales have continued to be strong, with September recording a 10.3% in lightweight vehicles and 29.7% in heavyweight vehicles.
Rupert Pontin, chief car editor at Glass’s, said: “It would appear that the country may be turning a corner from an economic perspective, with recent reports showing not only increased consumer confidence but factual evidence of continued PPI pay-outs and a surge in the number or mortgages being taken out. So the question remains, where is the retail market now, and what will be the best and most profitable sellers in what is likely to be a very different November to those experienced in previous years? The answer is to be sharp, quick-witted and to react to the market information available to ensure the best result.”
Glass’s use economic factors, auction prices and consumer tastes to gauge where sales are headed month-on-month.