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The UK Car Review: An Insight into Brand Preferences and Market Trends - UK - February 2015

“Although manufacturers have long sought to differentiate themselves and their cars to gain competitive advantage, our research suggests this can be taken to the next level for their benefit. Micro segments exist across the car market, suggesting that an ever more detailed approach to segmentation is required to fully benefit from current strong sales.”
– Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Children change what is sought from a car
  • Urbanites think ahead
  • Men and women have different priorities

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • New car sales see strong growth
                • Figure 1: UK new car sales, by volume, 2009-19
              • Mini and supermini car segment grows to account for largest share of sales
                • Figure 2: New car registrations by broad segment (share), 2009-14
              • Ways of accessing personal transport are changing
                • Companies, brands and innovation
                  • Established brands falling out of favour
                    • Innovations remain an important means of wooing customers
                      • The consumer
                        • Two thirds of adults own a car
                          • Figure 3: Statements about car ownership, December 2014
                        • Market is dominated by small and medium-sized cars
                          • Figure 4: Car ownership, December 2014
                        • Commuting is an important primary use for a car
                          • Figure 5: Uses to which a car is put, December 2014
                        • Features to improve driving are important
                          • Figure 6: Features sought from a new car, December 2014
                        • Cars need to match lifestyles
                          • Figure 7: Statements about cars, December 2014
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                            • Children change what is sought from a car
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Urbanites think ahead
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Men and women have different priorities
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Retired for hire
                                                  • The suite life
                                                    • Rebirth of cities
                                                    • Market Environment

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Car ownership is important with around two thirds of adults owning a car...
                                                          • Figure 8: Ownership of cars, December 2014
                                                        • ...although many of those with a car own an older vehicle
                                                          • Figure 9: Age structure of the car parc in years, 2012 and 2013
                                                        • Longer vehicle replacement times are likely to be the reason for a growing number of older cars on the road
                                                          • Trips taken and distance travelled are in steady decline
                                                            • Figure 10: Trips, distance travelled and time taken, 2003-13
                                                          • Cars favoured for commuting
                                                            • Figure 11: Importance of transport types by specific reasons for travelling, 2013
                                                          • Used car prices on the fall
                                                            • Figure 12: Price indices of new and used cars, 2003-14
                                                          • Fuel prices at four-year low
                                                            • Figure 13: Typical retail prices of petroleum products in the UK, Aug 2011-Oct 2014
                                                          • UK economy in recovery
                                                            • Figure 14: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                          • GDP growth is beginning to strengthen
                                                            • Consumer expenditure likely to be buoyant
                                                              • Financial confidence begins to strengthen
                                                                • Figure 15: GfK Consumer Confidence Index, January 1988 – January 2014
                                                              • Shift in population towards the less affluent
                                                                • Single households are in the ascendency...
                                                                  • Figure 16: Changes in single and multi-person households, 2004-14
                                                                • ...while families are getting smaller
                                                                  • Figure 17: Number of families with dependent children in the UK, 2004-13
                                                                  • Figure 18: Projected growth rate of the child population in the UK, 2009-19
                                                                • UK population is beginning to age
                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Used car sales outperform new car sales
                                                                      • Figure 19: Used car market volume, 2009-15
                                                                    • Journeys by car dominate public transport
                                                                      • Figure 20: Types of transport, average number of trips (England), 2013
                                                                    • Alternatives to car ownership represent an emerging threat
                                                                      • Figure 21: Number of rentals, number of hire days and average spend per rental, 2008-13
                                                                      • Figure 22: Car club vehicle and member growth, June 2008-November 2014
                                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                    • Strengths
                                                                      • Weaknesses
                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Connected cars
                                                                            • Rising interest in compact SUVs
                                                                              • Space efficiency
                                                                                • Driving growth in the electric car market
                                                                                  • Using camera technology
                                                                                    • Driverless cars
                                                                                      • First touch-screen key fob
                                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • UK car market continues to expand
                                                                                            • Figure 23: New and used car registrations, 2009-15
                                                                                          • The future
                                                                                            • Figure 24: UK new car registrations, 2009-19
                                                                                          • Forecast
                                                                                            • Figure 25: UK new car sales, volume sales, 2009-19
                                                                                        • Segment Performance

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Dual purpose and multipurpose vehicles are in the ascendency
                                                                                              • Figure 26: New car registrations by broad segment, 2009-14
                                                                                            • Dual and multipurpose vehicles performing strongly
                                                                                              • Executive, luxury and sports also record growing interest from buyers
                                                                                                • Small and medium-sized cars continue to dominate
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: New car registrations by broad segment (share), 2009-14
                                                                                                • Comparison with cars in ownership data reinforces changes taking place within market
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Cars in ownership and new car registrations by broad segment (share), 2014
                                                                                                • AFVs begin to gain interest from buyers
                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Sales of cars by fuel type, 2009-14
                                                                                                • AFVs grow to account for 1 in 50 sales
                                                                                                  • Diesels continue to dominate
                                                                                                    • Interest in petrol vehicles stagnates
                                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Buyers moving away from established brands
                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Manufacturer shares of new car registrations, 2010-14
                                                                                                        • Established brands are suffering a decline in market share
                                                                                                          • German brands are proving popular...
                                                                                                            • ...as are smaller traditional brands and new entrants
                                                                                                              • Many Japanese brands are falling out of favour
                                                                                                                • Ford and Vauxhall take first five places
                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Top 10 car models, 2014
                                                                                                              • Brand Research

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Brand map
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                    • Correspondence analysis
                                                                                                                      • Brand attitudes
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Attitudes, by brand, December 2014
                                                                                                                      • Brand personality
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Brand personality – macro image, December 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Brand personality – micro image, December 2014
                                                                                                                      • Brand experience
                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Brand usage, December 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Satisfaction with selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Consideration of selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Perceptions of selected brand performance, December 2014
                                                                                                                      • Brand recommendation
                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Recommendation of selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                    • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                      • Ford
                                                                                                                        • Background
                                                                                                                          • Position in the market
                                                                                                                            • Range on offer
                                                                                                                              • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                • Vauxhall
                                                                                                                                  • Background
                                                                                                                                    • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                      • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                        • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                          • Volkswagen Group
                                                                                                                                            • Background
                                                                                                                                              • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                  • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                    • BMW Group
                                                                                                                                                      • Background
                                                                                                                                                        • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                          • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                            • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                              • Nissan
                                                                                                                                                                • Background
                                                                                                                                                                  • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                                    • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                                      • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                        • Mercedes-Benz
                                                                                                                                                                          • Background
                                                                                                                                                                            • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                                              • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                                                • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                                  • PSA Peugeot Citroën
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Toyota
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hyundai
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jaguar Land Rover
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Position in the market
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Range on offer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sluggish investment in advertising despite stronger car sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Main media advertising expenditure by car manufacturers, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Family cars dominate expenditure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Main media advertising expenditure by car manufacturers, by type of motor car, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Family cars account for over a quarter of expenditure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hybrid, electric and alternative cars see considerable increase in promotional support
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Support given by individual manufacturers varies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Main media advertising expenditure by car manufacturers, by amount spent, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Television – The media type of choice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Main media advertising expenditure by car manufacturers, by media type, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Car Ownership

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Around two thirds of adults own a car
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Car ownership, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cars are more likely to be purchased used and more than 2 years old
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Statements about those owning a car, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wealthy are more likely to have purchased a car recently
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Young males prefer owning new cars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Older adults are more likely to own a used car
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Older adults are likely to hold on to their car the longest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • A third of those without a car have access to another in their household
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Statements about those not owning a car, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Type of Car Owned

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Medium and small cars are most popular with owners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Car ownership, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Young adults opt for small cars, while older adults choose larger and specialist vehicles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Income encourages trading up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Large households and young families seek out space
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Location has impact on car preference
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Use of a Car

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Commuting dominates as the main use for a car
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Uses to which a car is put, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Men and women focus on different uses for a car
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Differences in perceived importance of car use by age are evident
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Rural car owners rank use of cars for commuting and school runs as very important
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Social status plays a major part in car use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Features Important When Buying a Car

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Assistance with driving important to many car owners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Features sought from a new car, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Men go for tech while women look for driving enhancements
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Older drivers appear more interested in new features
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Urban drivers attracted to EVs and hybrids
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Certain features span all socio-economic groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Children bring about new demands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • New and used car owners look for different things
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Features sought from a new car by age of car, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Features sought from a new car by age of car, December 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lower and upper medium car owners want more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Features sought from a new car by type of car, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Cars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Meeting lifestyle needs are important to many car owners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Statements about cars, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Men seek out new experiences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Urban drivers are also forward thinking
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old and young drivers have different priorities from a car
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Income and children have major impact on thinking
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Environmental interest varies sharply by type of vehicle currently owned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Statements related to main car by age of car, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Owners of specific types of car favour certain statements
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Statements related to main car by type of car, December 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The UK Car Review: An Insight into Brand Preferences and Market Trends - UK - February 2015

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