A ROGUE algorithm went off-grid and caused a massive crash in Q2 used car sales.
A slightly embarrassed Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) has admitted that its statistics published last week showing a record-breaking 13.5 per cent fall in the UK’s Q2 used car market was wildly inaccurate.
And much to the relief of RV analysts at UK leasing companies, used car sales remain stable. It seem the Brexit effect blamed on the Q2 used car sales slump was, in fact, an aberrant algorithm.
The true drop was only 0.7 per cent, said the SMMT, leaving total used car sales actually up by 1.5 per cent for the year’s first half compared with 2016.
A “rogue” algorithm in the SMMT’s data cruncher of registration statistics supplied from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency was responsible for the misreading, SMMT officials insisted.
In a revised statement from Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said:
“With used car sales closely mirroring what we see in the new car market, last quarter’s moderate decline comes as no surprise – and with demand easing over recent months, this could offer motorists the opportunity to get some great deals.
“However, although the market remains at an exceptionally high level, given the softening we’ve seen in registrations of new cars in more recent months, looking ahead it is vital that government secures the conditions that will maintain consumer and business confidence if we are to see both markets continue to prosper.”
Revised Q2 used car sales figures
- Used car transactions remain steady, falling -0.7% in Q2 2017, as market mirrors downturn in new car registrations
- Year-to-date sales remain stable, up 1.3% to over 4.2 million units.
- Diesels remain popular, with nearly 1.7m bought in first half of 2017, an increase of 4.0%, as alternatively fuelled vehicles enjoy 26.1% boost.
- source: SMMT