VW and Renault, snakes and ladders


Car makers are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their foothold in the world market; in fact quite a few are struggling for their very survival. It is interesting just how much some manufacturers are floundering. It is clearly well documentedthat some of the brands which are owned by the big 3 in America such as Chrysler, Jeep, Vauxhall and Saab will clearly have had their market share eroded as customer confidence in these makes evaporates in the UK. The bigger more powerful car makers are making it increasingly hard for smaller brands to survive and there is a theory that 40 odd brands which currently sell in the UK could be down to half that in the next few years, either by going out of business, being swallowed up by bigger predators or by being partly nationalised.

The German makes, almost without exception and including their other mainstream brands, are easily outperforming the market, Kia and Hyundai are better placed in terms of their growing market share (with Kia doing well despite the scrappage incentive) as is Mazda and even Ford who, in the UK and much of Europe, continue to be a market leader.

The other end of the ladder however is a different story and whilst we have watched the French car makers, especially Renault, decline rapidly in the last few years, staggeringly they have between them declined by 121,000 units in the last 5 years which is a whopping 58% fewer units registered in the UK.

If this rate of decline continues then the future surely is bleak. Either that or the rest of European marketplace will need to drastically take up the slack to arrest the massive fall in the sales. All in all clearly the improvers and survivors will have a major say in new and used car sales in the UK, and it isn’t really hard to predict that the Volkswagen group, currently wrestling Toyota for the title of largest global manufacturer, will probably be the major player in the UK in quite a short space of time.


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