When looking at the performance drop in Q1 2018, it has to be through the prism of many brands posting record figures over the same period last year.
This year’s March plate-change was still the fourth-biggest on record and every dealer was prepared for a fall in demand.
Daksh Gupta, the chief executive of Marshall Motor Group, said: “We all smashed our targets over the first three months of last year, so the Q1 drop in 2018 is really no surprise.
“That being said, the market is more challenging as there isn’t the strength of bonus or margin. I was speaking to one of my peers recently and we agreed that Q1 was all about damage limitation and the rest of the year is about pulling it back.”
Finance offers are going to play a major part in the comeback and there are certain manufacturers that really need a boost in Q2.
Nissan has seen some of the heaviest drops in registrations, with a 33.5% fall during the March plate-change, matched by a similar 35% drop over Q1 as a whole. This is despite the Qashqai being a top three best-seller in March.
However, dealers would be hard-pressed to complain about Nissan’s offers to tempt customers into showrooms during Q2.
It is offering 0% finance on most of its range, from core models to the X-Trail and 370Z, and is also throwing in two years’ free servicing.
The Leaf and GT-R are the only two models with APRs above that level, at 4.45% and 5.49% respectively.
The next-generation Leaf is fresh to the market, so Nissan will be hoping demand for it will negate its higher interest rate. It gives a good indication of Nissan’s confidence in the new product.
Nissan is not reacting to its drop in registrations with stress discounting – there are no deposit contributions to help push volume in its published offers over the next three months.
Ford is always a good indicator of how the market is performing – even with a drop of 21.6% in registrations, it still dwarfs any other manufacturer at 81,957 units over the quarter.
Its Q2 strategy revolves around a strong 0% offer across most models, but with a finance term of just 24 months.
While Vauxhall is no longer able to keep pace with Ford’s volumes – it was in third place in Q1 on 54,535 units – it is mirroring the market-leader’s strategy. Vauxhall’s representative examples are almost all 24-month offers at 0%.
Vauxhall is only running its 24-month offers until the end of April, whereas Ford is continuing throughout the next three months. It will be interesting to see if Vauxhall changes tack for the remainder of Q2.
Q2 manufacturer new car finance rates examples
|Model||Finance type||Deposit||Term||Monthly payment||Final payment||APR||Offer ends|
|Ka+ Zetec 1.2 VCT 85PS||PCP||£3,579||24||£99||£5,145||0%||30/06/2018|
|Fiesta Zetec 1.0 Ecoboost 5dr||PCP||£5,631||24||£160||£7,469||0%||30/06/2018|
|Focus Titanium 1.0 Ecoboost 125PS||PCP||£5,810||24||£229||£8,409||0%||30/06/2018|
|Focus ST-3 2.0 Ecoboost 250PS||PCP||£6,658||24||£269||£14,391||0%||30/06/2018|
|C-Max Zetec 1.0 Ecoboost 125PS||PCP||£7,249||24||£239||£8,184||0%||30/06/2018|
|Grand C-Max Zetec 1.0 Ecoboost 125PS||PCP||£7,772||24||£269||£8,541||0%||30/06/2018|
|Kuga Titanium 1.5 Ecoboost 150PS FWD||PCP||£7,885||24||£239||£10,898||0%||30/06/2018|
|Mondeo Titanium Edition Hybrid Electric 2.0 TiVCT 187PS Auto||PCP||£8,575||24||£269||£10,564||0%||30/06/2018|
|Mondeo ST-Line 2.0 TDCi 150PS 5dr||PCP||£5,621||24||£239||£10,928||0%||30/06/2018|
|Mustang GT 5.0 V8 6sp manual||PCP||£6,684||36||£399||£17,712||0%||30/06/2018|
|S-Max ST-Line 2.0 TDCi 180PS||PCP||£9,105||24||£269||£14,074||0%||30/06/2018|
|Galaxy Titanium X 2.0 TDCi 150PS||PCP||£10,771||24||£289||£14,678||0%||30/06/2018|
|Edge Titanium 2.0 TDCi 180PS AWD||PCP||£9,241||36||£289||£14,060||0%||30/06/2018|
|Tourneo Connect Titanium 1.5 TDCi 100PS||PCP||£7,044||24||£179||£8,835||0%||30/06/2018|
|Ranger Double Cab Wildtrak 3.2 TDCi 200PS||PCP||£11,571.63||36||£289||£11,139||0%||30/06/2018|
|Micra Acenta IG-T 90 with optional metallic paint||PCP||£4,525.24||36||£149||£6,105.76||0%||01/07/2018|
|Pulsar N-Connecta DIG-T 115||PCP||£4,675.85||36||£189||£6,450.15||0%||01/07/2018|
|Juke DIG-T 115 N-Connecta 2WD manual||PCP||£5,370.32||36||£179||£6,765.68||0%||01/07/2018|
|Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T N-Connecta with glass roof pack 5dr||PCP||£6,352.31||36||£199||£10,743.69||0%||01/07/2018|
|X-Trail Tekna DCi 130 2WD||PCP||£8,252.06||36||£329||£13,028.94||0%||01/07/2018|
|Navara Double Cab Tekna 2.3 DCi 190 4WD manual||PCP||£11,069.01||36||£269||£11,786.99||0%||01/07/2018|
|370Z 3.7L V6 328PS Base manual||PCP||£7,399.34||36||£249||£13,131.66||0%||01/07/2018|
|GT-R 3.8L V6 570PS Pure||PCP||£16,598.76||36||£679||£44,647.08||5.49%||01/07/2018|
|Adam Energised 1.2i (70PS) in Pump Up The Blue||PCP||£4,544||24||£201.17||£5,773||0%||30/04/2018|
|Corsa 5dr Energy 1.4i (75PS) ecoTec (a/c) Lava Red||PCP||£4,800||24||£161.38||£5,167||0%||30/04/2018|
|Mokka X 5 Door Elite 1.4i Turbo (140PS)||PCP||£7,859||24||£337.42||£10,238||0%||30/04/2018|
|Crossland X 5dr Tech Line Nav 1.6 Turbo D BlueInjection (120PS)||PCP||£6,050||47||£193.50||£7,068||5%||30/04/2018|
|Grandland X 5dr Sport Nav 1.2 (130PS) Turbo||PCP||£7,610||24||£245.58||£11,861||0%||30/04/2018|
|GTC 3dr SRI 1.4i Turbo (120PS)||PCP||£6,701||24||£352.50||£7,174||0%||30/04/2018|
|Astra 5dr SRi 1.4i (100PS) hatchback||PCP||£5,916||24||£242.79||£7,977||0%||30/04/2018|
|Astra Sports Tourer SRi 1.6CDTi (110PS) ecoTEC||PCP||£6,975||24||£323.50||£8,511||0%||30/04/2018|
|Zafira Tourer MPV Tech Line Nav 1.4i Turbo (140PS)||PCP||£7,029||48||£255.87||£7,115||5.90%||30/04/2018|
|Insignia Grand Sport Design 1.5 Turbo (165PS)||PCP||£5,894||24||£157.21||£9,978||0%||30/04/2018|
|Insignia Country Tourer 2.0 Turbo D BlueInjection (170PS)||PCP||£7,995||24||£224.58||£13,170||0%||30/04/2018|