Contact Us

2016 new car registrations were not just about winners

Prev Next

Another year of record registrations with a total of nearly 2.7 million new cars on the road (or very close to it, the road that is!) sees most media coverage predictably focusing on the overall winners.

What about those that ‘must try harder’, the list of which includes some surprises:

Mitsubishi -20%
Lotus -10%
Volkswagen -7%
Vauxhall -7%
Fiat -6%
Peugeot -5%
Ford -5%
Aston Martin -5%
Alfa Romeo -4%
Toyota -2%


These accounted for a significant 39% of all registrations in 2016 with a total of 1,056,518. Apologies to Chevrolet for not including its 67% drop in registrations year-on-year, but going from 12 to 4 hardly seemed worth mentioning.

These statistics are important to those who are responsible for registration and market share performance but why do I find them interesting? I find them interesting because of the relatively poor performance of volume manufacturers.

These have been known to use the pre-registration tactic to boost sales volumes and market share especially towards the end of the year to meet the expectations of their masters. With the record 2.7 million registrations rumoured to have benefited from an injection of at least 250,000 cars of no fixed abode, maybe there was no more that could have been done to help preserve sales and market share.

But maybe there was. A few years ago Renault seemed to be in a downward spiral here in the UK. It rationalised its model offering and its dealer network and enjoyed a 12.5% improvement in year-on-year registration performance in 2016. As the expected impact of Brexit looms over 2017 and beyond maybe it’s time for others to begin to think the unthinkable.