A bit of a disagreement, it would be too strong to call it a row, has broken out this week between Robert Forrester, head of Vertu, and the SMMT. Because after publishing the June figures, which I have to say were in stark contrast to the reports we were receiving around the industry, Vertu’s boss has come out and said that the SMMT figures have not painted a true or accurate picture of the month.


Many of the dealers we have spoken to have confirmed that June was actually quite a strong month, with enquiries and indeed retail sales up significantly on the same month last year. So why did the SMMT figures show a 35% drop? Robert Forrester’s argument, and it probably has more than a ring of truth to it, was that neither the manufacturers nor the retailers wanted to engage in the normal end of month registration rush. In other words, nobody knew what the market was going to be like, so they were not chasing market share.


This clearly may well change this month, as we have all had a few weeks back and are better able to gauge what the customer is thinking. Certainly some are predicting a V shaped recovery from recession. Others are confident that with consumers needing alternative ways to get to work when they return, the car will be seen as one of the safest ways of getting there. Let’s see what the next few months bring.


Otherwise, there is little in the news to cheer the soul. The government’s budget, or mini budget announced on Wednesday, provided little incentive for new car buyers. There is a growing call for a scrappage scheme along the line of some European countries, together with subsidies for electric vehicles to coincide with the green drive the Chancellor seems to be pushing.


Have a great weekend, the world almost seems complete now that cricket is back.


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When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.
Ed Macauley
When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.
Henry J. Kaiser (1882 – 1967)
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Charles De Secondat (1689 – 1755)
You can question somebody’s views and their judgement without questioning their motives or
Barack Obama (1961 – ), University of Michigan Commencement, 2010

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