Jeep Compass SUV with automatic transmission
The two key changes in car ownership have been the rise of automatics and the desire for SUVs or crossover style vehicles.
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A MANUAL shift is still the most prevalent form of car transmission, but automatics have shown a huge rise in cars registered since 2007.

New data released released today (April 16, 2018) from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) shows that automatic models have risen 70.5% during the last decade.

The SMMT’s Motorparc data publication says that 40.0% of all new cars registered in 2017 featured an automatic gearbox, double the proportion in 2007.

The trend no doubt reflects the growing sophistication of automatic gearboxes, and the increasing levels of congestion that make manuals less desirable.

Model ranges increase

Reflecting the desire by premium manufacturers in particular to ‘in fill’ range sectors, there are now some 1,500 model ranges and 65,000 different model specifications in the parc; 10 years ago there were 1,200 and 56,000 respectively.

Over a fifth (22.5%) of cars were less than three years old in 2017, the SMMT reflecting that this has helped to improve air quality and CO2 emissions with the latest low emission technology.

Jeep Compass SUV with automatic transmissionSmall cars dominate, dual-purpose cars rise 90%

While smaller models continue to dominate the market – mini, supermini and lower medium together taking 62.3% market share in 2017, up from 60% in 2007 – the rise of the SUV or crossover has been phenomenal.

The SMMT reports that across all market segments, dual-purpose cars have increased more than 90% during the past decade with some 3.5 million on the road in 2017, representing 10.2% market share, up from 6.1% in 2007.

Conversely, upper medium models have seen the largest fall in popularity, declining -27.0% – equivalent to roughly 1.5 million cars.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “This latest Motorparc analysis shows the shifts in consumer preferences and behaviour over the past decade and provides insight for car makers and dealers to help them adapt to changing consumer behaviour in the future.”

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