Car Purchasing Process Market Overview In UK - April 2014: Recent Release

Research Report On Car Purchasing Process - UK - April 2014: Emerging Opportunities, Trends, Size, Drivers, Strategies, Products And Competitive Landscape

The new car market, while on the path to recovery, is not immune from challenges. Competition from those within and outside of the market is ever present and is likely to grow if recent trends towards consumer individuality continue. Getting closer to the buyer offers clear advantages for manufacturers and retailers not only in achieving future sales but also in understanding how cars are to develop a future role in society.

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Table of Content




Executive Summary

The market

New car sales accelerate

Figure 1: UK new car sales, 2008-18

Small and specialist

Figure 2: Share of vehicle types amongst private purchasers, 2010-13

Strong level of future purchasing intent

Figure 3: Future purchasing intentions in the next 3 years, February 2014

Costs of ownership and competition from other transport options cannot be overlooked

Figure 4: Used car market volume, 2008-13

Companies, brands and innovation

Manufacturer market share in flux

Dealers dominate for car sales

The consumer

Over half of cars in ownership purchased more than two years ago

Figure 5: Statements about car ownership, February 2014

£15,000 is the upper ceiling band for most purchases

Figure 6: Amount paid for last car, February 2014

Majority of purchases are from dealers

Figure 7: Where last car was purchased, February 2014

Strong future purchasing intentions

Figure 8: Intention on purchasing a car/s in the next 3 years, February 2014

Price and reliability lead as key factors when purchasing

Figure 9: Primary importance of five key factors when purchasing a car, February 2014

Searching is an important part of the purchasing process

Figure 10: Agreement with statements related to buying a car, February 2014

What we think

Issues and Insights

New cars will continue to face a challenge from used

The facts

The implications

Market fragmentation is a reality

The facts

The implications

Dealers remain a safe bet for many

The facts

The implications

Trend Application

Trend: Minimise Me

Trend: The Nouveau Poor

Trend: Green and Lean

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Market Environment

Key points

UK economy and consumers both show signs of recovery...

Figure 11: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at current prices, 2008-18

GDP growth will take time to strengthen

Consumer expenditure set to expand faster

with quarterly GDP performance further illustrating this

Figure 12: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2006-Q32013

Financial confidence begins to strengthen

Figure 13: Household financial situation index, February 2009-November 2013

Net lending for car purchases sees strong growth

Figure 14: Value of advances (£m) on sales of all cars bought on finance by consumers through dealerships, 2009-13

Majority of adults own a car...

Figure 15: Ownership of cars February 2014

although older cars dominate the market

Figure 16: Ownership of cars, by when purchased, February 2014

Over half of adults are likely to purchase a car in the next 3 years

Figure 17: Future purchasing intentions in the next 3 years, February 2014

Near equal interest in new and used cars

Figure 18: Type of car expected to be purchased, February 2014

Falling price of used cars remains a concern for new car market

Figure 19: Price indices of new and used cars, 1996-2012

Pain of high fuel prices may be easing

Figure 20: Monthly UK petrol, diesel and oil price trends, 2009-13**

Growth in the number of households set to boost demand for personal transport

UK population moving socially downward

An ageing population

Competitive Context

Key points

Car ownership costs keep rising

Figure 21: Consumer expenditure on car purchasing, servicing and repair and motoring expenses, seasonally adjusted at current prices, 2009-12

Competing demands when it comes to overall expenditure

Figure 22: Consumer expenditure, by sector (£billion), 2012

Used car sales outperform new car sales

Figure 23: Used car market volume, 2008-13

Alternatives to car ownership represent an emerging threat

Who’s Innovating?

Key points

Showroom innovation

Online car and service store

Engaging the youth in the electric movement

VW taps into geo-location

Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market



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Market Size and Forecast

Key points

New car sales return to pre-recessionary levels

Figure 24: UK new registrations of motor vehicles, 2008-14

Private sales show upward surge

Business and fleet sales record less variability


Figure 25: UK new car sales, 2008-18

Segment Performance

Key points

Small and dual purpose vehicles register strongest growth

Figure 26: Sales of cars* by type, mini and medium size cars, 2008-13

Figure 27: Sales of cars* by type, other cars, 2008-13

Buyers think small…

New vehicle designs proving especially popular

as larger models suffer

Trading up benefits executive sector

Smaller cars prove especially popular with private motorists

Figure 28: Sales of new vehicles, % share by purchaser type, 2013

Half of all private buyers opt for vehicles in mini or supermini category

Fleet and business buyers record a much broader interest

Private market showing polarisation

Figure 29: Share of vehicle types amongst private purchasers, 2010-13

Shift down in terms of size

Growth in demand for dual and multipurpose vehicles

Diesels leads over petrol and AFVs

Figure 30: Sales of cars* by fuel, 2008-13

Diesels continue to hold around a half of all sales

Petrol sector shows small recovery

AFVs fail to make progress

Petrol/electric hybrids dominate AFV market

Figure 31: Electric, hybrid and AFV sales*, 2010 -13

Market Share

Key points

Fragmentation of market continues as established manufacturers face new challenges

Figure 32: Manufacturer shares of new car registrations, 2010-13

Ford and Vauxhall experience different fortunes

Premium German marques make big strides...

as some mass market manufacturers suffer

Value brands making good progress

Brand Communication and Promotion

Key point

Promotional expenditure largely unchanged

Figure 33: Topline advertising spend in the car market, 2010-13

Established names in the market up their investment

Figure 34: Top 20 car manufacturers, by advertising expenditure, 2010-13

Manufacturer expenditure by individual ranges

Figure 35: Top manufacturer model lines , by advertising expenditure, 2013

Television has increased its profile

Figure 36: Share of manufacturers advertising expenditure, by channel, 2010-13

Investment by dealers is largely fragmented

Figure 37: Top 20 Car dealerships, by advertising expenditure, 2010-13

Radio dominates for dealers with direct mail also important

Figure 38: Share of dealer advertising expenditure, by channel, 2010-13

Brand Research

Brand map

Figure 39: Attitudes towards and usage of brands in the car sector, February 2014

Correspondence analysis

Brand attitudes

Figure 40: Attitudes, by car brand, February 2014

Brand personality

Figure 41: Car brand personality – macro image, February 2014

Figure 42: Car brand personality – micro image, February 2014

Brand experience

Figure 43: Car brand usage, February 2014

Figure 44: Satisfaction with various car brands, February 2014

Figure 45: Consideration of car brands, February 2014

Figure 46: Consumer perceptions of current car brand performance, February 2014

Brand recommendation

Figure 47: Recommendation of various car brands, February 2014

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