Dealers are facing multiple pressure points in Q1, with Brexit and WLTP concerns filtering over into the busiest quarter of the year.
While manufacturers have set out their plan of attack for the March plate-change, dealers will at least have some sort of clarity on Brexit before the end of the period and Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) stock should have all filtered through to showrooms following delays last year.
Strong retail offers will be an essential tool to help retailers get a positive start to what will likely be another challenging 12 months.
Nissan’s network will have the most riding on a successful Q1, as it saw a 32.1% drop in registrations in 2018, the biggest fall of any of the top 10 volume manufacturers in the UK.
Nissan is supporting its vehicle line-up with some strong 0% offers over four years on nearly every model (the Leaf electric vehicle is the only one with a 5.99% APR).
Other than niche models such as the Leaf and GT-R sports car, Nissan customers can secure a new model for under £300 a month. Big-volume models such as the Juke and Qashqai are available for £261 and £298 respectively.
The Juke will be particularly important this year, as there is a new version due in the summer. This means Nissan will need a compelling offer to help clear stock in Q1 and it has one with a low-deposit of £261.18 to get people into a special edition
That will leave dealers with the new Juke by the September plate-change to boost sales in Q3 with a new model that is also expected to come with new powertrain options, including a hybrid.
The UK’s premium market shifted last year, with Mercedes now the biggest manufacturer in that sector by volume.
Audi had a punishing 12 months, down 18% to 143,739 units. Those figures put a gulf of almost 30,000 units between Audi and BMW.
Audi is hoping to get things moving for its network with big discounts across its range in Q1. The A3 Sportback features a £3,500 discount when customers take on a PCP, the A4 drops by £2,000, the A5 Coupé and A6 Avant down £6,000 and the A8 gets the biggest price drop at £8,875.
Those deposit contributions aren’t met with particularly low APRs, except the A4 at 2.9%, but monthly payments are still affordable at £229 and £249 for entry models such as the A1 and A3.
The UK’s biggest volume brand, Ford, also has some ground to make up in Q1. While the total retail market fell by 6.4% in 2018, Ford saw registrations drop by 12%.
The Blue Oval is continuing with its 0% offers over three years across nearly all of its range in Q1.
The Ka is just £99 a month after a £3,322 deposit over two years and the UK’s most popular vehicle by volume, the Fiesta, is likely to maintain its position with 0% over three years at £175 a month.
The Ecosport, Focus, Mondeo and C-Max are all available for under £250 a month and this illustrates how accessible Ford Credit has made the most popular models in the brand’s range in Q1.
Top finance deals for retail buyers
|Model||Finance type||Deposit||Term||Monthly payment||Final payment||APR||Offer ends|
|Micra N-SPORT IG-T 100||PCP||£3,993.79||48||£169||£5,829.21||0%||31/03/2019|
|Juke Bose Personal Edition 1.6 Manual||PCP||£261.18||48||£261.18||£6,542.20||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Qashqai 1.5 DCI 115 Acenta Premium 5DR||PCP||£1,000.08||48||£298.68||£8,808.28||0%||31/03/2019|
|Navara Double Cab N-GUARD 2.3DCI 190 4WD Manual||PCP||£11,173.01||36||£299||£12,657.99||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|370Z 3.7L V6 328 PS GT Manual||PCP||£10,555.72||36||£229||£16,005.28||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|GT-R 3.8L V6 570PS Pure||PCP||£16,970.26||36||£699||£46,047.14||5.99%||31/03/2019|
|A1 Sportback Sport 30 TFSI 116PS 6-speed||PCP||£2,995||48||£229.00||£9,381||5.90%||31/03/2019|
|A3 Sportback S line 30 TFSI 116 PS 6-speed||PCP||£3,783||48||£249.00||£10,437||5.90%||31/03/2019|
|A4 Black Edition 35 TFSI 150 PS S tronic||PCP||£8,722||48||£299.00||£12,995||2.90%||31/03/2019|
|A5 Coupé Black Edition 35 TFSI 150 PS S tronic||PCP||£7,148||48||£329||£14,890||4.90%||31/03/2019|
|A6 Saloon 40 TDI 204PS S line S tronic||PCP||£6,342||48||£399||£16,215||3.90%||31/03/2019|
|A6 Avant 40 TDI 204PS S line S tronic||PCP||£6,801||48||£419||£17,110||3.90%||31/03/2019|
|A7 Sportback S line 40 TDI 204 PS S tronic||PCP||£6,707||48||£479||£19,921||3.90%||31/03/2019|
|A8 50 TDI quattro 286PS tiptronic||PCP||£11,792||48||£589||£21,605||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Q2 Black Edition 35 TFSI 150 PS 6-speed||PCP||£6,017.00||48||£299||£13,653.40||5.90%||31/03/2019|
|Q3 S Line 35 TFSI CoD 150 PS 6-speed||PCP||£5,183.49||48||£359||£14,388.70||5.90%||31/03/2019|
|Q5 Black Edition 40 TDI quattro 190 PS S tronic||PCP||£7,043.35||48||£449||£21,209.70||5.90%||31/03/2019|
|Q7 S line 50 TDI quattro 286 PS tiptronic||PCP||£11,882.58||48||£549||£26,183.90||4.90%||31/03/2019|
|Q8 S line 50 TDI quattro 286 PS tiptronic||PCP||£11,637.48||48||£699||£32,471.00||6.60%||31/03/2019|
|KA+ Zetec 1.2 Ti-VCT 85PS||PCP||£3,322||24||£99||£6,147||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Fiesta Zetec 1.0 100PS 5 door||PCP||£4,607||36||£175||£6,558||0%||31/03/2019|
|Fiesta ST-2 1.5 200PS 3 door||PCP||£4,628.97||36||£225||£9,655||2.90%||31/03/2019|
|EcoSport Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS||PCP||£4,790||36||£190||£6,715||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Focus Zetec 1.0 125PS 5 door||PCP||£4,653||36||£230||£7,917||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|C-MAX Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS||PCP||£6,338||36||£239||£7,103||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Grand C-MAX Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS||PCP||£7,090||36||£259||£7,231||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Kuga ST-Line Edition 1.5 EcoBoost 150PS FWD||PCP||£5,797||36||£295||£11,293||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Mondeo ST-Line 2.0 TDCi 150PS||PCP||£5,543||36||£249||£9,233||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Mondeo Titanium Edition HYBRID Electric 2.0 TiVCT 187PS Auto||PCP||£6,934||36||£269||£10,522||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|S-MAX ST-Line 2.0 EcoBlue 190PS||PCP||£9,609||36||£289||£12,882||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Galaxy Titanium 2.0 EcoBlue 150PS||PCP||£10,567||36||£289||£11,474||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Edge ST-Line 2.0 Eco-Blue 238PS AWD||PCP||£10,409||36||£425||£17,886||0%||31/03/2019|
|Tourneo Courier Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS||PCP||£2,963||36||£159||£6,728||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Tourneo Custom Titanium L1 H1 2.0 EcoBlue 130PS||PCP||£10,573||36||£279||£14,261||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Grand Tourneo Connect Titanium 1.5 EcoBlue 120PS||PCP||£6,005.20||36||£259||£9,611||0.00%||31/03/2019|
|Ranger Wildtrak 3.2 TDCi 200PS||PCP||£12,426.63||36||£305||£12,468||0.00%||31/03/2019|