Sally Robinson, Recruitment Consultant for Fircroft’s automotive division, discusses the current climate in the sector and how this will affect the number of jobs available.
How have car sales been so far this year?
2015 looks set to be another highly successful year for the UK automotive industry, following a growth of 6% in March with over 492,774 new cars registered. This signifies the UK’s 37th consecutive month of growth, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This is officially the highest number of monthly car sales since the twice-yearly number plate changes were introduced in 1999.
The last record of consistent new car sales in the UK was in the 1980s, with 26 consecutive months of growth. However, since March 2012 the continuous growth in sales has massively boosted the UK economy; the nation has continued to bounce back from the recession and success has been driven by numerous factors. For example, affordable pay-per-month finance agreements have risen, as well as the vast range of new products and extras car manufacturers are offering to consumers.
What are the UK’s best sellers?
The top three best selling cars in 2015 are all hatchbacks, amounting to a combined number over 30,000 registrations so far this year. The Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Golf are similar in many ways, such as being easy to drive, cheap to run and most of all, recognisably popular across the country, which no doubt improves ongoing sales. Many of the new cars sold in the UK are not sports cars or luxury vehicles; the popular sales come from mass produced vehicles that take up the majority of car sales across the country. The most sought-after cars in the top ten include the Audi A3 and the Mercedes C-Class, however the majority of the list is overloaded with superminis and crossovers, such as the Volkswagen Polo and the Nissan Qashqai. Nevertheless, outside of the best selling cars are a number of new concepts and releases from some of the world’s biggest cars manufacturers. The Bentley Exp 10 Speed 6, Aston Martin Lagonda and the Ferrari 458M are three of the most talked-about and sought after new cars so far in 2015.
Additionally, Bentley revealed that 2014 was its best year ever in terms of global sales, selling more than 11,000 new cars. Outside the UK saw the fastest growth, with sales in China alone rising by 22% in the space of just one year, proving that it may not primarily be mass produced vehicles on the rise. Furthermore, Jaguar Land Rover sold over 460,000 vehicles in 2014, which represented its fifth successive year of growth in sales.
Is this success predicted to continue?
SMMT’s Chief Executive Mike Hawes predicts that the UK monthly increase in new car sales will begin to slow down this year. “The best month this century for new car registrations is a welcome boost for the UK’s thriving automotive sector.”
“Over the course of 2015,” he continued, “we are expecting a more stable market to emerge given that there has already been an extended period of consistent growth.”
However, the anticipation of driverless cars in the UK is developing daily. The driverless car revolution is expected to create 320,000 new jobs in the UK, 25,000 of which will be in automotive manufacturing. Overall, the British automotive industry will continue to thrive, whether it is through new car sales or new driverless car concepts.
In addition to the continued growth across the UK, car sales throughout Europe have continued to rise in a similar way to that of Britain. Through the help of the boost in the UK, the continent has seen 18 consecutive months of growth in new car sales, resulting in 924,440 new registrations in February 2015 alone. A number of longstanding Fircroft automotive clients are anticipated to bring exciting recruitment prospects across the UK over the coming years, and given the current climate and predictions for the sector, the number of roles are expected to grow rapidly.
Fircroft currently has over 400 live automotive vacancies