Oneswoop insider: Market changes
Demand for outright car purchases has slumped over 2010 as the impact of the scrappage scheme has faded, says car-quotes website Askaprice.com.
Leasing enquiries in to Askaprice have accounted for almost 50 per cent of overall Audi leads in every month of 2010, while outright purchase enquiries have stalled at just 18.1 per cent for the year-to-date.
The strongest three months for outright purchases enquiries on Audi models were the first three of the year, reinforcing the view that demand for outright purchases has dropped off since the end of the scrappage scheme, which finished in May this year.
The same trends are found in the overall lead data from Askaprice.com and for both Ford and Vauxhall; the UK’s leading manufacturers by sales.
Outright purchase accounted for 47 per cent of all enquiries for all manufacturers in the first three months of 2010, but that figure dropped to a year low of 25 per cent in September.
The Askaprice figures for Audi, Ford and Vauxhall similarly reflect this trend, with all three experiencing their worst months for outright purchase in September and October.
September is traditionally one of the strongest months for car sales, however this trend has changed and there is enough evidence to suggest that this change has been induced by the scrappage incentive scheme.
In July this year the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Chief Executive Paul Everitt stated that “a drop in private registrations compared to the scrappage-fuelled months of 2009 was expected and has brought the first market decline for 12 months [in July]."
However recent SMMT statistics have shown that monthly sales have continued to suffer with October’s being the worst in 17 months.
Both manufacturer-specific and overall enquiries in to Askaprice.com suggest that rather than creating new sales, it simply brought them forward.
Economists have predicted a similar trend at the end of 2010 and into 2011 on the back of government austerity measures like the increase in VAT.
"It is possible though that some car sales will be brought forward in the last couple of months of 2010 from 2011 as purchasers look to beat Value Added Tax rising," said Howard Archer, economist with IHS Global Insight.