Fun with figures

As some of you may have by now noticed, this past month has seen a rather large change to the Motor Finance website’s ‘Market Data’ tab.

Gone is the old system, whereby each month we posted each table from the data bank section at the end of the magazine as its own ‘story,’ and instead we’ve introduced two fully interactive data sets.

The old system had its advantages. It allowed for each piece of data to be looked at in detail, and it allowed us great flexibility in what we posted, in some regards. But it lacked historical context, as each ‘story’ was viewed in isolation, and it did not allow for a simple comparison beyond year-on-year.  It also meant the data was uploaded to the tune of the magazine’s publishing cycle, as opposed to as and when new data was released.

The new system involves fully interactive graphs, providing a really powerful tool that really excels in areas where the previous system didn’t. Now you can easily compare how two competitor brands have performed over the years, or easily check how much motor finance was sold on a given month. On top of this, we can update the figures easily when they come out.

To start with, we currently have two sets of data: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) registration figures as far back as 2008, and Finance & Leasing Association figures (FLA) as far back as 2011. Going on either of these allows you to see the data you want, down to the month, and makes for a really useful comparison tool.

Each set includes a number of sub sections. So on the SMMT side of things, you can break the number down by brand, engine type, or market (i.e. by fleet sales, private sales or business sales). On the FLA side, we have data down by the number of new and used cars sold, and by year-on-year growth.
So, for example, using the SMMT tool, you can easily see how Hyundai has grown from the recession, selling fewer than 1,000 cars in three separate months in 2008. Fast forward to 2015, and so far its lowest monthly sales number has been 2,602 – the number it recorded in February. This number was actually higher than any month in 2008, except for three.

You can also see how Hyundai sales have powered past a number of their competitors since the recession, as the Korean brand’s market share increased.

Meanwhile, looking at the FLA figures, the tool allows you to see easily how new car finance grew at a faster rate every single month from the start of 2012 until September 2013, when used car finance grew by 20%, outpacing new car finance’s growth of 19%. Since that date used car finance has grown faster for the majority of the time, although the past two months have seen a resurgence in new car finance levels.  

I’d also like to point out that, while we’re really happy with how the tab has turned out so far, this is only the beginning. We’re currently looking to expand what data we have, and will hopefully have added at least a third data set by the end of the year. These things take time and planning, however, so please don’t expect to wake up tomorrow to find another huge update – unless you’re currently re-reading this issue several months down the line. In that case, who knows.