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Automotive News – Late May 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

New van market records best April for three years but electric transition needs boost.

• New light commercial vehicle market up 5.4% in April, marking 16th consecutive month of growth.

• Battery electric van demand falls by -42.4%, with urgent need to ramp up van changepoint rollout.

• Latest SMMT outlook expects UK new van registrations to grow by 3.3% in 2024.

UK demand for new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) rose by 5.4% in April as more businesses invested in the latest models, according to new figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 23,889 new vans, 4x4s and pickups were registered, the highest total for the month since 2021, as fleets invested in vehicles to support local trades, doorstep services and other increasingly vital parts of the logistics sector.

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New car market growth continues despite declining private demand.

· New car registrations record 21st month of growth, rising 1.0% in April.

· Battery electric vehicle (BEV) market share rises to 16.9%, sustained entirely by business buyers, as private retail demand continues to drop.

· New 2024 market outlook revises overall uptake upwards to 1.984m units, but BEV share downgraded to 19.8% as weakened private retail demand moderates expectations.

UK new car registrations grew for the 21st consecutive month in April, rising by a modest 1.0% to reach 134,274 units, according to the latest data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). As a result, this was the market’s best April since 2021, although uptake was still -16.6% below the pre-pandemic level in what is traditionally a low volume month following the March plate change.

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Aston Martin has reported a bigger-than-expected loss for Q1 after finance costs and operating expenses rose significantly.

The luxury car manufacturer, which is going through a “year of immense product transformation” posted a loss before tax of £111m, almost double what it lost in the same period the previous year.

Revenues have dropped by 10% year-on-year to £267.7m as the firm looks to change its product portfolio and prepares to introduce four new models in 2024.

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Used car market hits five year high as EVs reach record share.

· UK used car market grows 6.5% to almost 2 million units in Q1 2024 – the fifth quarter of successive growth.

· Best start to a year since 2019 as second-hand market hits five year high.

· Zero emission car sales up 71.0% with highest ever market share at 2.1%.

The UK’s used car market rose by 6.5% in the first quarter of 2024 with 1,967,923 units finding new owners – the strongest start to a year since pre-pandemic 2019, according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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A record year for luxury car maker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has seen it rack up annual revenues of £29bn, a 27% improvement on the previous year, as well as record fourth quarter sales of £7.9bn, respectively. The car maker achieved a £2.2bn pre-tax profit, its highest since 2015, in the year to March 31, 2024.

Free cash flow hit £892m for the fourth quarter, and a record £2.3bn for the full year, while net debt reduced to £700m.

The Indian-owned manufacturer has production plants at Halewood in Merseyside and Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands.

JLR’s latest figures reveal record Range Rover wholesale and retail sales for both Q4 and FY24.

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A new UK manufacturing business making batteries for electric vehicles Volklec has been launched, based in Coventry, West Midlands, with the aim of powering electrified mobility, and set to manufacture sustainable batteries for on-road, off-highway and track vehicles.

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