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UK June 2016: Brexit triggers 2nd year-on-year drop in four years

Mini UK June 2016. Picture courtesy autocar.co.ukThe Mini Harch is up 13% to 5th place in May in the UK. 

* Now updated with the Top 155 models and Top 40 brands *

New car sales in the UK are down 0.8% in June to 255.766 registrations. Although this is still the 2nd best June score ever and it leads to a record first half at 1.420.636 units, it is also only the 2nd year-on-year monthly drop in four years and the question on everyone’s lips is: did Brexit have to do anything with it? Given the Brexit vote happened on June 23, it means that private sales cannot have been impacted, as these typically reflects orders from months before. Yet the end of June is typically a time where manufacturers load up on “artificial” sales such as short-term rentals, demo sales and self-registrations in order to meet half-year targets. So a 0.8% drop in a record environment can definitely mean carmakers have become bearish when it was time to push. Given the market remains pulled up by fleets (+4.5% in June) while private sales are lagging behind (-4.5%), this isn’t very good news for the remainder of the year in the UK, as we already detailed in the post UK: Brexit means no sales record in 2016 and production uncertainty.

June-new-car-registrations-2000-to-present-chartSource: SMMT

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “It is far too soon to determine whether the referendum result has had an impact on the new car market. The first six months saw strong demand at record levels but the market undoubtedly cooled over the second quarter. It’s important government takes every measure to restore business and economic confidence to avoid the market contracting in the coming months.” Brand-wise, Ford (-9%), Vauxhall (-15%) and Volkswagen (-19%) still dominate but all lose significant market share, whereas just below BMW (+9%), Mercedes (+19%) and Audi (+3%) all gain significant ground. Let’s also notice Renault (+38%), Mini (+22%), Honda (+17%), Jaguar (+33%), Jeep (+60%), Smart (+25%) and Infiniti (+447%) all posting very solid year-on-year improvements.

Renault Kadjar UK June 2016. Picture autocar.co.ukRenault posts the largest year-on-year gain of any manufacturer in the Top 25. 

The Top 10 best-selling models show a paltry figure: 8 of them are down vs. June 2015 including the Top 4 most popular nameplates in the country: the Ford Fiesta (-9%), Vauxhall Corsa (-8%), Ford Focus (-25%) and VW Golf (-11%). Only the Mini (+13%) shooting up three spots on May to #5, its best monthly ranking so far in 2016, and the Mercedes C-Class up 4% to remain in the Top 10 at #10 show positive results. Disappointing scores from the locally-produced Nissan Qashqai (-18%) and the Vauxhall Astra, down 12% despite a new generation. The Vauhxall Mokka is back inside the Top 10 despite sales down 13% to 4.356.

Previous post (1): UK May 2016: Discover the Top 135 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous post (2): UK: Brexit means no sales record in 2016 and production uncertainty

Previous month: UK May 2016: Brexit uncertainty cools market growth to +2.5%

One year ago: UK June 2015: Mini and Vauxhall Mokka shine in market up 13%

Full June 2016 Top 40 brands and Top 155 models below.

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