More than 120 new car ranges will be launched in 2006, according to EurotaxGlass’s, almost double the previous record tally of 66 this year.
The area that will see the biggest growth in choice will be SUVs, with 25 new ranges.
A further 32 will join the sports car, coupe and convertible segments.
“With total new car registrations down by 5.6% during the first 10 months of this year, dealers will welcome anything that might stimulate demand,” said Alan Cole, editor for Glass’s Market Intelligence Service.
“There is, however, the danger that manufacturers may be jumping on the bandwagon of certain fashion-led niche market segments just as demand is becoming satisfied, with unavoidable implications for used prices.”
The increase in SUVs paired with the increasingly vocal anti-SUV lobby may have an additional negative affect.
“If more owners feel stigmatised for their supposed impact on levels of congestion or pollution, the popularity of these cars may diminish at a time when new model growth is at its highest, increasing pressure on dealers to sell new and used examples at lower prices,” said Cole.
EurotaxGlass’s does not foresee any imminent increase in registrations despite the increase in choice.
Of the 122 new ranges already confirmed, 14 are from the budget brands, 55 from the volume manufacturers and 53 from the premium marques.
Key launches in 2006/early 2007