Carmakers are being urged to resist the temptation to exit the UK's market for sensible, value cars as they look to add more glamour and style to their current product offering.
Figures released today by business advisory firm KPMG and automotive consultancy Spyder show that the market share of the so-called "value brands" has proved remarkably resilient over the past six years.
Since 1998, the combined UK market share of the six value brands - Daewoo, Hyundai, Kia, Proton, Perodua and Skoda - has remained steady at between four and five percent. With British car buyers proving themselves to not be as style-conscious as we may have thought, the value end of the market is now demonstrating itself to be quite a lucrative one.
Mike Steventon, head of automotive at KPMG, comments: "These figures prove that British car buyers are more than partial to a bargain when it comes to parting with their own hard-earned cash. We keep hearing about some of the value brands wanting to get out of the bargain basement and add a bit of style and glamour to their overall brand. Before they get dragged into a battle to become the next fashionable brand, perhaps they should pause for a moment and consider the real value of the profitable market they're so keen to exit.”
He adds there seems to be an increasing bias in car marketing campaigns towards the young, urban, upwardly mobile segment. However, KPMG's figures show that the value car segment is now worth nearly five per cent of new car sales in the UK - or 100,000 cars in real terms.