Car Makers Premier League – January 2012

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 2012) turned out to be just a tiny little bit better than last January (which was 11.5% down on the previous year it should be remembered), with the headline figure for the month being a miniscule 0.03% increase of 42 units to 128,853 cars registered for the month.

Amazingly the top 15 positions all outperformed the market this month with the top two of Chevrolet (yes you did read that right) recording a massive 120% increase on January 2011 which is probably the biggest single increase we have ever seen and Kia with a more modest but still respectable 38.13% increase. In third place snapping at Kia’s heels with a very decent 38.02% increase was Land Rover. In fact the top 15 all managed to improve on January 2011 and for once the German owned manufacturers have been decimated with only 3 (Skoda, Mercedes and VW) making it into the top 10 – who would have predicted that 6 months ago?

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is to see who languishes at the foot of the table, well it’s BMW (yes you read that right too!) with a, let’s not beat around the bush, pretty shabby 28% drop on last January. So bad in fact that even Renault did better than them and when you add the fact that MINI, such a consistently good performer last year, have dropped out of the top 20 all together (shifting just 1,595 units) you have to wonder what’s gone on there?

A good month however for Fiat with a solid 16% increase on last January it just remains to be seen whether they can sustain this early good form.

The SMMT are upbeat with chief Executive Paul Everitt commenting “2012 is set to be an exciting year with record numbers of new models coming to market filled with innovative technology that will save the motorist fuel, enhance comfort and further increase levels of safety and security. However, to maintain market stability, government must act decisively and deliver much needed confidence to businesses and consumers.”

Let’s hope the upbeat messages continue into what many believe will be a supremely challenging year for the business.

Car Makers Premier League January 2012


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