AM Online

'Take comfort in rental' manufacturers told

Manufacturers are being urged to give greater consideration to the rental market, which can provide business stability amidst a weakening new car market.

The message comes from John Leigh, senior vice president of National Car Rental.

"With the latest new car sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders suggesting that consumer confidence is continuing to suffer in the retail motor sector, motor manufacturers should welcome the stability and steady flow of business from the vehicle rental companies," he said.

New car sales in July saw their seventh consecutive month of decline, falling 6.6% year on year, with a 5.9% drop for the year to July and private registrations down 10.8%.

"This is bound to make already nervous manufacturers feel vulnerable, with no immediate improvement on the situation, even though the Bank of England announced its first rate cut in 9 months last week.

"The significance of the daily rental sector should not, therefore, be ignored when considering the fortunes of the manufacturers. In particular, what must appeal to the manufacturers in terms of supplying to the daily rental sector, is the lack of monthly fluctuation. As an industry, we are taking vehicles from the manufacturers year-round and our planning enables us to give a pretty clear picture of future requirements.

"As we all know, this is certainly not the case with the consumer market where buyers are holding off purchases in August until the new plate is introduced next month. The daily rental sector has no such bias."

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