‘Re­venge buy­ing’ for hol­i­day woe drives 70-plate car sales

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Alan Tovey

CON­SUMERS un­able to splash out on for­eign hol­i­days are spend­ing big on cars, boost­ing the in­dus­try on the first day that new “70-plate” reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles are avail­able.

Deal­ers have re­ported mas­sive de­mand for new cars at odds with wider eco­nomic gloom as wor­ries about the long-term im­pact of coro­n­avirus grow.

Daksh Gupta, chief ex­ec­u­tive Marshall Mo­tor Hold­ings, said: “It’s very busy and my best guess is that it could be 20pc to 30pc up on the same month a year ago.”

Last month Mr Gupta coined the term “re­venge buy­ing” of cars by mo­torists frus­trated by the pan­demic and look­ing to treat them­selves to a ma­jor pur­chase.

The boss of the 117-deal­er­ship chain added that Septem­ber would be “crit­i­cally im­por­tant” for the in­dus­try as it will be “the only peak month of the year”. This was be­cause sales in March, the other month when reg­is­tra­tion plates up­date, were cur­tailed by the lock­down.

The sen­ti­ment was echoed by Robert For­rester, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Vertu Mo­tors. “De­mand from pri­vate mo­torists is ex­cep­tion­ally strong, up 20pc year on year so far,” he said.

“It’s a very pos­i­tive sign. It’s blink­ing ob­vi­ous that peo­ple have got money and a very size­able num­ber of them are not wor­ried about re­dun­dancy, have not spent lots on for­eign hol­i­days and are putting that money to­wards a new car.”

Sales could even be ham­pered by a lack of sup­ply, with man­u­fac­tur­ers only slowly get­ting back up to pre-pan­demic pro­duc­tion lev­els, ac­cord­ing to Mr Gupta and Mr For­rester.

The So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders has noted a “pent-up de­mand” for cars af­ter Covid-19 forced deal­ers to shut for more than two months. In the months from March to

‘De­mand from pri­vate mo­torists is ex­cep­tion­ally strong, up 20pc year on year so far. It’s pos­i­tive’

June, new car reg­is­tra­tions fell by 44pc, 97pc, 89pc and 35pc re­spec­tively, be­fore re­bound­ing 11pc in July, the first full month of fore­courts be­ing open.

Sue Robinson, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Fran­chised Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, said 86.5pc of the body’s mem­bers had now re­opened and added that some brought staff back from fur­lough early to cope with de­mand.

How­ever, to­tal sales for the month may not be as high as nor­mal as fleet buy­ers and car rental busi­nesses are not buy­ing at their nor­mal rate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.