| 3rd March 2011
Every week Askaprice.com takes a look at the state of the car industry and how it’s affecting both car buyers and car retailers.This week we asked the expert for his opinions on budget manufacturers and their prospects after Seat announced it was targeting a three per cent market share for 2011.
In 2010 Seat
claimed a market share of 1.62 per cent in the UK and the Spanish manufacturer is looking to essentially double that figure in 2011.Seat’s confidence is justified despite the manufacturer’s struggle to dominate the same share of the market as the big-hitters in Ford (13.81 per cent) and Vauxhall (12.18 per cent).That’s because many ‘new’ car brands have gradually improved from when they first arrived in the UK and have begun to shake off negative reputations.The likes of Seat, Skoda
, Kia and Hyundai
are all in the same boat – they offer budget-end vehicles, they’ve all been in the UK market for a short amount of time and have all increased their share of the market over the past 12 months.All four ‘budget’ manufacturers are predicting another increase in market share this year too and there is reason to put faith in those expectations.Budget manufacturer Skoda – which was once the butt of car industry jokes – is beginning to shake its now outdated reputation.Buyers now enter the market-place without the tainted image of certain brands as they weren’t around when the models first came over to the UK. That means buyers are unaware of the Skoda jokes because they are no longer building poor quality cars.They’re quirky, reliable and a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. That means they’re a Volkswagen product with a Skoda badge and the consumer is beginning to judge the car on its merits as opposed to its livery.The same can be said for Seat, Kia
and Hyundai. They may not be the best cars around, but for their price they are decent alternatives to the big hitters in the European marketplace.Their development is set to mirror that of Audi
– although perhaps without the same level of success.When the German manufacturer first came to the UK it too was thought of as cheap and unreliable and had a prevailing reputation for rust. Now the thought of Audi producing anything but premium cars is almost impossible to believe.The same could be applicable to Seat, Skoda, Kia and Hyundai in years to come, albeit in the volume market and not the executive segment which Audi competes in.