Sales of new cars in Northern Ireland fell last year by the steepest amount in six years. The 5.2% decrease followed broadly flat sales in 2015 and 2016. Showrooms’ sales volumes are now 21% below where they were a decade ago. Continue reading
New car sales have been on the slide in the UK in 2017. November marked the eight successive year-on-year fall, with UK sales down 11%. England, Scotland and Wales posted double-digit declines last month with Scotland recording the sharpest fall (-24% y/y). The falls though conceal shifting patterns of demand between fuel types. Sales of petrol cars continue to grow (+5% y/y) while diesel sales plummeted by 31% y/y. Meanwhile the Alternative Fuelled Vehicles (AFV) sector saw sales volume surge by one-third in November. Continue reading
There is a famous video about the reintroduction of a small number of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. It tells of how this intervention triggered a vast chain of unforeseen events, including forests regenerating, rivers becoming more fixed in their course, and soil erosion stopping. This had fundamental implications for the park’s ecosystem and very physical geography.
2017 continues to be a disappointing year for new car sales at both a UK and Northern Ireland level. New car registrations in Northern Ireland fell by 9.3% y/y last month. This compared with declines of 10% for Scotland and Wales and almost 6% for England. August represented the fifth successive month of year-on-year declines for both Northern Ireland and UK dealers. Indeed, Northern Ireland has only posted one month of year-on-year gains (March) in eight months and this was linked to changes in vehicle excise duty rates (VED) which artificially inflated sales in March. Continue reading
March a 10-year high for NI new car sales
March was a record month for new car sales in the UK and a 10-year high in Northern Ireland. There were 8,556 new cars sold locally last month, just over 1,000 fewer (11%) than the pre-recession peak of 9,564 in March 2006. The near 10% y/y rise in local new car sales last month compared favourably with a UK increase of 8.5%. However, Northern Ireland’s sales figures are coming off a lower base and follow declines recorded in earlier months. Continue reading
2016 was another record breaking year for global car sales. Over 88 million cars and light commercial vehicles were sold last year, an annual increase of almost 5%. Continue reading
If there’s one thing that 2016 has perhaps taught us, it’s that you have to be wary of headlines. When it came to both the EU referendum debate and the US Presidential election, partisan UK and US media organisations often dominated public discourse with overly-simplified headlines that didn’t do justice to complex and nuanced stories. Continue reading
2015 and 2016 have certainly been the year of the consumer. Low or no inflation coupled with notable wage growth and favourable tax changes (e.g. raising the personal allowance income tax threshold) have all boosted disposable incomes. Continue reading
It probably hasn’t been a great year for Jeremy Clarkson. But can the same be said for petrol heads as a whole? Whilst consumers in general have been benefiting from falling food, clothing and energy prices, what has been happening to fuel, car, and auto part costs? With the hotly anticipated new series of Top Gear set to get underway, I thought it would be worth taking a peak under the bonnet.