A new year and a brand new competition. It’s time once more for the Car Makers Premier League where each and every month we examine the top 20 manufacturers by number of units registered and see just how they look when compared with the previous month. At the end of the year who will be crowned champion? Who will drop out of the top 20 as the year unfolds and which high achievers will be promoted?
Starting the season off with January’s statistics (based on the SMMT figures for UK new car registrations in January 2011) turned out to be just about as bad as industry experts and most people in the trade were expecting, with the headline figure for the month being a 11.5% decline to 128,811 units.
In January 2010 the market, buoyed by scrappage, recorded a 29.8% increase on the previous year to 145,479 units with nearly 18% of these registrations being down to the scheme.
Overall the top 10 positions outperformed the market this month with the top two of BMW (a massive 67% up on January 2010) and Mercedes (a huge 25% up on last year) being streets ahead of the competition. In third place with a rather more modest 7% increase is Skoda. In fact only the top 6 managed to improve on January 2010 and where it not for Citroen coming in at 6th with a 4% increase on last year it would have been a clean sweep of German owned manufacturers.
Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW Group UK said “Despite challenging market conditions, we have seen the best ever start to a year for BMW brand sales. We have sold twice as many X Series models compared to January last year with sales from the new X3 model starting to come through and evidence that the poor weather conditions lead to increased demand particularly for the X5. We have also benefited from continuing high demand from our corporate customers for the fuel efficient 320d ED and the new 5 Series. However, MINI saw a drop in sales this month due to many of our customers taking advantage of December delivery to beat the VAT increase.”
Despite finishing top in December we have lost Mini this month after their 1,614 (24% down) registered units took them out of the top twenty, swapping places with SEAT back in at number 5 with a 5% increase.
Bad news this month for Hyundai and Kia as they prop up the first table of the year and, perhaps surprisingly, VW who sink to 16th with a miserable 26% decline.
A pretty miserable month but in line with SMMT expectations and, as they say, marks the beginning of a “challenging year”.
That’s good we like a challenge!
Car Makers Premier League January 2011
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