AM Online

Have carmakers written off Q4 as a lost cause?

Dealers were expecting September new car registrations to be down and the majority of manufacturers have adjusted targets, according to ASE.

This paints a very different picture than that presented by the SMMT, which said September’s 8.8% drop in private registrations and overall drop of 9.3% was “cause for considerable concern”.

If that’s the case, it appears manufacturers have already turned their attention to Q1’s targets rather than adjusting retail campaigns for the next quarter.

Jeep and Fiat saw the biggest loss in registrations in September, at 57.5% and 42.22%, respectively, so reduced Q4 targets may help dealers batten down the hatches. 

There’s a 0% deal on the Cherokee at £299 a month and while Fiat doesn’t have any particularly low-rate finance offers for Q4, almost all cars will cost customers under £200 a month.

If dealers are looking to grasp at some positivity before Christmas, Andrew Bailey, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has said car finance offers are in his opinion not “per se bad”. 

Mike Jones, ASE chairman, told AM: “The numbers for September were broadly expected. A downturn had been forecast. 

“Dealers knew the market would be softening and have adjusted their business plans accordingly.” This means a much greater focus on used cars and aftersales in the winter months.

Jones said manufacturers are not looking to push volume through the UK and have gone through target reductions with networks. This should mean that lower new car sales won’t necessarily mean lower profits, if the dealers can hit the reduced targets in Q4.

He said: “There’s not a huge flood of money coming in to support Q4 campaigns either. There are scrappage deals, but that is largely using existing funds, maybe with a little bit more.

“There may be more money on the table for Q1 and we’re currently waiting to see what the targets are going to be for that period.”

AM’s finance offer data for Q4 does show some potential confusion for dealers and consumers in Q4, with some manufacturers offering deals that do not even run until the end of October on some models, while others run until the end of December.

Dealers will be used to campaigns changing mid-quarter, but it adds further complexity to what is an already complex web of marketing campaigns and offers. Ford stands out in particular, with deals on high-volume models such as the Fiesta and Focus only running until the end of October before switching over to the next quarter’s campaign. However, there are still some strong 0% deals available to tempt customers.

Some manufacturers are yet to even update offers online. While dealers may have details of what’s on offer for Q4, at the time of going to press, consumers researching online wouldn’t be able to find up-to-date deals from Citroën, DS, Peugeot, Kia or Seat. Another manufacturer did upload offers, but accidently dated them to start in January and end in March 2018.

Is this a sign of manufacturers writing off Q4 as a lost cause and fixating on the next feast of the March plate-change in Q1?

BMW certainly isn’t letting up in its pursuit of market share. BMW was leading the fight in the German premium sector in September with 6.94%, but Mercedes-Benz is close behind at 6.81% and Audi at 6.62%. BMW’s offers online show considerable money being thrown at popular models.

In most cases, BMW will almost match a customer’s deposit contribution with £3,629 for the 1 Series, £5,648 for the 3 Series and £6,642 for the 5 Series. The core model range is largely affordable with deals under £300 across 48 months.

Model Finance type Deposit Term Monthly payment Final payment APR Offer ends
BMW
116d Sport 5-Door PCP £4,465 48 £199 £8,307.43 4.9% 31/12/2017
216d Sport Gran Tourer PCP £4,741.40 48 £259.24 £9,611.68 2.9% 31/12/2017
216d Sport Active Tourer PCP £4,710.13 48 £269.24 £9,017.83 2.90% 31/12/2017
218d M Sport Coupé PCP £4,759.09 48 £279 £10,971.43 3.90% 31/12/2017
320d M Sport Saloon PCP £6,239 48 £279 £10,619.93 1.90% 31/12/2017
320d M Sport Touring PCP £6,356.99 48 £289 £10,916.85 1.9% 31/12/2017
420d M Sport Gran Coupé PCP £7,177.73 48 £309.31 £12,663.25 2.9% 31/12/2017
520d M Sport Saloon PCP £6,689 48 £289.34 £15,327.25 2.9% 31/12/2017
520d M Sport Touring PCP £7,695.57 48 £359 £16,100.55 2.9% 31/12/2017
640d M Sport Coupé PCP £11,902.32 48 £419 £16,937.69 0.0% 31/12/2017
730d M Sport Saloon PCP £9,999 48 £499 £21,920.65 0.0% 31/12/2017
X1 xDrive18d M Sport PCP £5,900 48 £368.37 £13,365.33 5.9% 31/12/2017
X3 xDrive 20d M Sport PCP £7,153.24 48 £398.20 £18,918.10 5.9% 31/12/2017
X6 xDrive30d M Sport PCP £9,839 48 £587.94 £23,561.60 5.9% 31/12/2017
X5 xDrive30d M Sport PCP £9,439 48 £637.91 £23,481.13 5.9% 31/12/2017
M3 Saloon PCP £9,711.33 48 £619 £22,202.78 3.9% 31/12/2017
i3 PCP £6,243.36 48 £298.72 £10,134.30 1.3% 31/12/2017
i3 with Range Extender PCP £6,497.30 48 £328.69 £11,735.94 1.3% 31/12/2017
i8 PCP £10,799 48 £869 £39,667.70 0.0% 31/12/2017
Ford
Fiesta Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS 5 Door PCP £4,558.33 35 £175 £6,769 1.2% 31/10/2017
B-Max Titanium Navigator 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS PCP £5,733 36 £169 £5,423 0.0% 31/12/2017
EcoSport Titanium S 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS petrol PCP £5,928 48 £149 £5,360 0.00% 31/12/2017
Focus Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS PCP £5,124 36 £199 £6,672 0.00% 31/10/2017
Focus ST-3 2.0 EcoBoost 250PS PCP £6,749 36 £229 £11,997 0.00% 31/10/2017
C-Max Zetec 1.5 TDCi 120PS PCP £6,976 36 £199 £6,729 0.0% 31/12/2017
Grand C-Max Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS PCP £7,175 36 £209 £6,920 0.0% 31/12/2017
Kuga Titanium 1.5 TDCi 120PS FWD PCP £7,452 36 £219 £9,528 0.0% 31/10/2017
S-Max Titanium 2.0 TDCi 150PS PCP £8,284 36 £249 £10,442 0.0% 31/12/2017
Galaxy Titanium X 2.0 TDCi 150PS PCP £11,325 36 £265 £11,975 0.0% 31/12/2017
Edge Titanium 2.0 Duratorq TDCi 180PS PCP £9,797 36 £249 £14,629 0.0% 31/12/2017
Ranger Wildtrak 3.2 TDCi 200PS PCP £9,696.63 36 £299 £11,854 0.0% 31/12/2017
Jeep
Renegade longitude 1.6 Multijet ii 120hp 4x2 manual PCP £2,359 48 £289 £6,340 4.2% 31/12/2017
Cherokee limited 2.2 Multijet ii 200hp 4x4 9 speed automatic (active drive i) PCP £5,449 48 £299 £10,583 0.0% 31/12/2017
Grand Cherokee srt 6.4 V8 automatic PCP £6,274 37 £799 £23,817 0.00% 31/12/2017
Fiat
500 Lounge 1.2 69hp PCP £1,035 48 £179 £4,214 4.2% 31/12/2017
500X Pop 1.6 E-Torq 110hp PCP £3,067 48 £179 £3,729 5.4% 31/12/2017
500L 1.4 Pop Star 2018 PCP £2,189 48 £199 £3,962 5.90% 31/12/2017
Tipo Wagon Easy 1.4 95hp PCP £248 48 £248 £4,210 5.90% 31/12/2017
Panda Easy 1.2 69hp PCP £1,219 48 £139 £2,241 6.70% 31/12/2017


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