It proved to be a difficult June for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in the UK during June with no light at the end of the tunnel as Fiat and Alfa Romeo missed the slightly postive market and both gave up ground although the Abarth brand again provided a bright spot as its sales climbed by almost a quarter.
The UK new car market grew by a modest 3.4% in May with 192,649 new units registered, according to data released by industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The growth follows a sharp 8.5% decline in the previous May when demand was impacted by the dual effects of a vehicle tax pull forward and buyer hesitancy ahead of June 2017’s general election.
With 3,613 units registered during June the Fiat brand went the other way to the market, sales declining by one thousand four hundred units and 28.63% on the same month last year as its market share shrank by half a point to 1.54%.
Alfa Romeo also declined again despite its two new models and it slipped 6.25% to 542 units and a share of 0.18%.
However Abarth continues to shine and during June the brand that sells high performance versions of Fiat models easily beat the market as its sales rocketed by 23.74% to 542 units, putting it comfortably ahead of Alfa Romeo. The Scorpion claimed a 0.23% share of all sales for the month.
Maserati came in flat for the month, its 108 units sold during June was one extra unit up on last year, which was in fact a pretty good performance for the ‘Trident’ brand as its sales have been significantly down all year, while, finally for FCA, the Jeep brand was up 77.41% to 644 units, also a strong turn around as it’s been negative so far this year in the UK.
The overall picture in the UK was mixed last month but private demand last month grew by 10.1%, with more than 83,000 consumers driving home in a new car, and offsetting ongoing declines in the business and fleet sectors, down -9.6% and -0.7% respectively.
The most popular segments were supermini (up 6.0%), small family (up 1.6%) and dual purpose (up 19.2%), while demand for specialist sports cars also rose, by 12.7%. In addition, the hottest May on record saw a surge in demand for convertibles as drop tops rose 11.7% year on year.1
Meanwhile, there was good news for the alternatively fuelled vehicle segment, as demand for hybrid and plug-in cars grew by 36.1% to 11,240 units, accounting for a record 5.8% of the market. Plug-in hybrid cars were the biggest driver of growth, up 72.7%, while hybrids rose 22.6% and zero emission battery electrics grew 18.7%. Registrations of petrol cars also increased, by 23.5%, while diesels fell for the 14th consecutive month, down -23.6%.
For the year to date, the overall market remains down, with new registrations having fallen by 6.8%, as economic and political uncertainty continues to impact demand. Business and fleet confidence, in particular, continues to lag, down -16.2% and -7.1% respectively, while demand from private buyers in the first five months is -5.7% behind 2017 levels.
After the first half of the year the Fiat brand has notched up 19,946 sales in the UK, down 30.49% and nearly nine thousand units down on the same six-month period last year. It’s share of all UK sales for the year-to-date is down half a point to 1.52%.
Alfa Romeo is on 2,537 units sold for the year-to-date, down 6.07% year-on-year, which almost exactly mirrors the direction of the overall market.
Abarth, is enjoying an excellent 2018 and has just breached the three thousand units mark after six months with sales up by seven hundred units and almost one-third over last year and that makes it one of the best performing brands on the UK market so far in 2018 in year-on-year growth terms. In total the ‘Scorpion’ brand has sold 3,093 units for the first half of the year, up 32.53% and it has an 0.23% share of all sales for the year.
Maserati has 730 sales so far this year and is down 24.2% on the same six month period last year while, finally, Jeep is on 3,501 sales and is negative by 7.67%.