David Chittenden, Head of Automotive and Roadside at Colliers International, a global real estate advisor, provides his comments on today’s car registration figures which have been released by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT):

“Whilst today’s new car registration figures look impressive, they are masking what is actually happening in the automotive industry as they do not reflect actual vehicles sold due to the high level of self-registration by retailers. The information only takes into consideration those cars registered as sold to dealers. Once they have bought the vehicles, these retailers will then need to get them sold to customers; the margins that they are making are therefore low overall with I suspect average dealer profitability likely to be still less than 1.5% on sales. Until the manufacturers and dealers find a solution to this perennial problem, we will continue to see skewed statistics and the real parameter for the industry’s profitability and strength of the market will only be when the next dealer group accounts come out over the next few months. Indeed much of our time is now spent finding property solutions for dealers to secure compounds and aftersales facilities as the pressure on existing sites continues to grow.”