Small Green Cars and Alternative Fuels - UK - December 2009
- The 24% increase in new small car registrations in the UK in 2009 while the new car market as a whole continued to fall, has benefitted manufacturers with a strong small car range with the top selling brands being Hyundai, Ford, Toyota and Fiat.
- The ending of the scrappage scheme in early 2010 will result in sales of superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa falling by 2% while sales of cars in the mini segment will continue to rise with an increase of 10% in 2010. This is more likely to benefit manufacturers such as Hyundai, smart, Kia and Suzuki.
- New car buyers have bought small fuel-efficient petrol cars under the scrappage scheme rather than diesel or alternative fuel cars including electric and hybrid cars which have accounted for less than 1% of sales under the scheme. Car buyers have therefore not taken advantage of the £2,000 rebate to buy an electric or hybrid car.
- For most car buyers, factors such as price, reliability and fuel economy are a much higher priority in the car purchase decision than environmental benefits. To increase the sales of electric and hybrid cars, manufacturers and dealers must emphasise fuel economy over the environmental benefits of electric and hybrid cars.
- Although 42% of car owners would seriously consider buying an electric or hybrid car, 65% are put off by the limited range of electric cars and 66% are not prepared to pay a premium for the latest hybrid or electric cars.
- The higher cost of electric or hybrid cars will create a market opportunity for the leasing or rental of cars rather than outright ownership. As the necessity grows to reduce car use, rather than owning a car that stands idle for periods of time, it may become more cost effective to rent or lease an electric or hybrid car.
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