The biggest new cars month of the year heralds the onset of Spring. As the new ’12’ plates leave the forecourts around the country the nights are drawing out and the Easter eggs are being bought. Indeed, the time is about right for Fernando Torres to score his annual goal, and Alex Ferguson to crack open the champagne again.
The motor industry heavily rely on the month of March, it represents the single busiest month of the year and a welcome boost to the order bank after the long, dark winter days.
However, I have heard it whispered that not many of the ‘lesser spotted’ 12 plate new cars have been seen this March. Is the picture with new car sales changing?
New Cars sales
There is little doubt that when the new cars registrations were a letter and not a number, and they occurred on only one day a year (August 1st), and not two as it is now, that the ‘new reg day’ was a huge day in Britain. New cars used to leave the showrooms at midnight, and contiue to roll off the forecourts on a very special day for the customers and the dealers.
However, in my 12 years in the motor trade I certainly saw a change. When the new car registrations went to 2 day a year, then when they went to numbers from letters, there has been gradual loss of luster from the magic day.
I do remember working at a Citroen dealer that saw the grand total of 100 new cars leave one March 1st. Between 5 salesmen that was indeed a military operation, but at the end of it a satisfactory one.
New Cars and March 1st
The effect of the less distinctive plates, and the fact that they come out twice a year, means that new car day just is not what it was. People buying new cars are less likely to demand the new plate, even leasing companies may not be as adamant they want the contract hire vehicles on a new plate.
Alas new cars registration month may never be the same!