Positive figures about the growth in the automotive industry released for September mask some underlying issues with the market.
Car and van sales hit a record high in September, but analysts worry the effect of Brexit may reverse this growth. New 66 plate models helped sales grow by 1.6% last month. It was the strongest month on record for September – which itself is one of the most popular months of the year in which to buy a car, due to the biannual plate change.
The leading sector of growth in the industry was businesses buying full fleets of new vehicles, touching a nearly 10% increase compared to last year. This growth actually helps to mask the fact that single private sales, the ones the average person usually engage in, actually fell by 1.7%.
This shift in dynamic away from individual purchases and towards large corporations' purchases highlights a possibility that consumers are becoming more cautious about making major purchases, due to the heightened uncertainty over Brexit.
To sum up the feeling within the industry, the chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, described the 1.6% rise as “decent if unspectacular”.
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