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Motoring Through the Lifestages - UK - April 2009

The collapse in new car sales since mid-2008 has captured all the headlines, but the fact that both new and used car sales have been in decline since 2004 has largely gone unnoticed. One of the factors behind falling sales is that car owners are holding on to cars for longer and feel less need to replace them more frequently.

This report identifies the lifestage groups that are responsible for falling sales and longer car replacement cycles since 2004, and also identifies the brands and product features that these age groups are looking for from their next car purchase.

The distinct differences in car ownership and purchasing between the different lifestage groups show that encouraging higher levels of car purchasing goes beyond brand choice and benefits sought, but consideration must also be taken of how the different groups pay for cars and the trade-offs between buying a new or used car.

Key issues

  • What are the reasons behind the fall in car sales since a peak was reached in 2004?

  • Which lifestage groups are the main owners and buyers of new and second-hand cars?

  • Which lifestage groups have seen the highest falls in car purchasing and ownership?

  • Which lifestage groups present the best opportunities for sales to rise during and after the recession?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • TGI lifestage definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Is leasing the answer to longer replacement cycles?
              • A lost generation?
              • Market in Brief

                • Longer downturn in car sales due to interest rate rises
                  • Slowing rate of car ownership and sales due to longer retention
                    • The car owners
                      • The car buyers
                        • Features and benefits sought
                        • Market Background

                          • Key points
                            • Consumer expenditure on cars
                              • Figure 1: Consumer expenditure on cars and total consumer spending, 2003-09
                            • New and used car sales volumes
                              • Figure 2: New car registrations and used car sales, 2004-09
                              • Figure 3: Private new car registrations and used car sales, 2004-09
                            • Car sales and interest rates
                              • Figure 4: Total new and used car sales and interest rates, 2001-08
                            • New car sales and the total car parc
                              • Figure 5: UK car parc and new car registrations, 2003-13
                            • Market forecasts
                              • Volume of car sales
                                • Figure 6: Volume sales of new and used cars, 2003-13
                              • Value of car sales
                                • Figure 7: Total value of car sales, 2003-13
                              • New car sales
                                • Figure 8: Value of new car sales, 2003-13
                              • Used car sales
                                • Figure 9: Value of used car sales, 2003-13
                              • Factors used in the forecast
                                • Government intervention
                                  • Support for finance arms
                                    • Scrappage schemes
                                      • Increasing legislation
                                        • EU legislation – greener cars
                                          • Smarter and safer cars
                                            • Impact of legislation
                                              • Multiple car ownership grows
                                                • Figure 10: Number of cars owned by individual households, 1985/86-2006
                                                • Figure 11: Number of cars per household and cars per adult aged 17+, 1985/86-2006
                                              • Sales of new have fallen faster than used
                                                • Figure 12: Obtained new or second-hand (only car or most recently obtained car), 2004-08
                                              • Recent purchasing of cars declining
                                                • Figure 13: When obtained (only car or most recently obtained car), 2004-08
                                              • Replacement cars dominate but on the decline
                                                • Figure 14: First, additional or replacement car, 2006-08
                                            • Broader Market Environment

                                              • Key points
                                                • Continued growth in PDI and consumer expenditure
                                                  • Figure 15: Trends in personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2003-13
                                                • Population growth in key groups
                                                  • Figure 16: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2003-13
                                                • Growth among key car users
                                                  • ABs, C1s on the rise
                                                    • Figure 17: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2003-13
                                                  • Number of families to remain static
                                                    • Figure 18: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2003-13
                                                  • Smaller households equals smaller cars?
                                                    • Figure 19: UK household sizes, 2003-13
                                                  • Consumer spending priorities
                                                    • Figure 20: UK spending priorities for year ahead, 2005-09
                                                • The Consumer – Car Ownership and Purchasing

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Car ownership trends – all adults
                                                      • Figure 21: UK car ownership, 2003-08
                                                    • Young singles
                                                      • Figure 22: Car ownership, by the young singles lifestage group, 2003 and 2008
                                                    • Ownership trends – young singles
                                                      • Figure 23: Car ownership – young singles lifestage, 2003-08
                                                    • Married/Pre-/no family
                                                      • Figure 24: Car ownership – the married/pre-/no family lifestage group, 2003 and 2008
                                                    • Ownership trends – married/pre-/no family
                                                      • Figure 25: Car ownership – married/pre-/no family lifestage, 2003-08
                                                    • Families
                                                      • Figure 26: Car ownership – the families lifestage group, 2003 and 2008
                                                    • Ownership trends – families
                                                      • Figure 27: Car ownership – family lifestage, 2003-08
                                                    • Third age
                                                      • Figure 28: Car ownership – the third age lifestage group, 2003 and 2008
                                                    • Ownership trends – third age
                                                      • Figure 29: Car ownership – third age lifestage, 2003-08
                                                    • Grey/retired
                                                      • Figure 30: Car ownership – the grey/retired lifestage group, 2003 and 2008
                                                    • Ownership trends – grey/retired
                                                      • Figure 31: Car ownership – grey/retired lifestage, 2003-08
                                                    • Insight conclusions – car ownership
                                                      • Figure 32: Car ownership, by lifestage group, 2008
                                                  • Car Purchasing Intentions

                                                      • Figure 33: Car purchasing intentions of all adults, 2005-08
                                                    • Purchasing intentions by lifestage
                                                      • Figure 34: Car purchasing intentions, by lifestage group, 2008
                                                  • Features and Benefits Sought by Lifestage

                                                      • Figure 35: Important car purchase features, by lifestage group, December 2008
                                                  • Brand Preferences by Lifestage

                                                      • Figure 36: Car brands that consumers would seriously consider, by lifestage group, December 2008
                                                  • Source of Purchase by Lifestage

                                                      • Figure 37: Where consumers expect to buy their next car from, by lifestage group, December 2008
                                                  • Cost of Next Purchase by Lifestage

                                                      • Figure 38: How much consumers expect to buy their next car for, by lifestage group, December 2008
                                                    • Financing of next purchase by lifestage
                                                      • Figure 39: How consumers would finance the largest part of the purchase of their next car, by lifestage group, December 2008
                                                  • Deferred Purchasing by Lifestage

                                                      • Figure 40: Things consumers were hoping to do/buy over the next six months but have decided against, by lifestage group, December 2008

                                                  Motoring Through the Lifestages - UK - April 2009

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