It has been a turbulent 18 months for the automotive industry. Multiple lockdowns and an unprecedented level of redundancies meant that new and used car purchases were severely impacted, sending shockwaves down the automotive supply chain.
However, new data from SMMT suggests that the automotive industry is certainly beginning to rebound, particularly in the North West.
North West used car sales drive forward
The North West was among the top regions for used car sales in Q2 2021, registering 232,795 transactions in the quarter. This is a significant increase from the 184,974 transactions registered in Q1 and perhaps a strong signal that the engine of the automotive industry is starting to fire again.
The South East was the leading region for used car sales in Q2, seeing 311,225 transactions in the time period.
Used car sales up YOY across the UK
The UK’s used car market saw a year-on-year increase of 108% in sales, totalling over 2.1 million transactions in Q2 2021 – compared to just over 1 million in the same quarter last year. The easing of lockdown restrictions and continued success of the vaccine rollout can be attributed to this rise, with many workers allowed back into offices. Furthermore, staycations have dominated the holiday scene this year and thus the demand for new and used cars will have been positively impacted.
Ford continues to dominate
The Ford Fiesta was the most popular used car model again, with over 94,206 being sold in the UK over Q2. The Ford Focus came in third place, just short of the Vauxhall Corsa with 72,105 and 73,366 transactions respectively. The Volkswagen Golf was the fourth most popular with 69,582 used models being sold in the quarter. The market for used luxury models like the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 series remain relatively low, but these are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in coming quarters.
Used EV’s and Hybrids still lagging behind new models
Used battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales increased significantly in Q2 by around 350%. However, the market share of used ‘green’ vehicles remains relatively low compared to new electric and hybrid models. It can be assumed that if people are willing to invest in a hybrid or electric model, they are willing to invest more in a new vehicle rather than a second-hand option.
Things seem to be heading in the right direction for the automotive industry and used car market. Hopefully, with the continued vaccine success and economic recovery, dealerships and manufacturers will see a further increase in demand into the autumn and winter.