Autocar, Britain’s leading weekly automotive magazine, has recorded a remarkable second consecutive rise in annual circulation, with figures up 5% in 2018.
The result bucks trends in both the magazine industry (-5% in 2017) and automotive specialist media (-5.9% in 2017) – and is even more remarkable as it is the second consecutive rise for the brand under the leadership of editor Mark Tisshaw. It also comes at a time when new car sales in the UK are declining.
Tisshaw, who became editor in February 2017, oversaw a relaunch of Autocar magazine following an in-depth survey of readers, with increased sales underlining the impact of the changes. His success was recognised when he was named in the Professional Publisher’s Awards (PPA) ‘30 under 30’ list in March 2018.
“The ABC numbers are a testament to the hard work of the whole Autocar team,” said Tisshaw. “It’s been another challenging 12 months for the print and car industries, but we continue to buck these trends by investing in what our readers asked for, from better paper quality to an improved subscription offering and the very best journalists and contributors. This is proof that investing in quality can pay off.
“Just as importantly, though, this strategy is also part of the reason our online and video channels are recording record growth. Without exception, our team now works across both our print and digital outlets, and I’m delighted to be able to see Haymarket Automotive’s investment drive significant growth in both.”
The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures show that Autocar’s circulation rose from 30,753 to 32,253 in 2018. In 2017 its ABC recorded circulation rise was 0.3%. The rise in 2018 was driven predominantly by growth in digital magazine subscriptions.
Rachael Prasher, managing director of Haymarket Automotive, said: “Mark and the team have worked incredibly hard to achieve these amazing results, and to post a second year of growth in such a tough market is remarkable.
“Our belief has always been that backing quality is the right strategy, and it is that principle that is driving the investment across our Automotive business, including the launch of an all-new What Car? website in September 2018 and our innovative New Car Buying platform, which puts in-market car buyers in touch with retailers through a secure online portal.
In March 2017 Haymarket Media Group announced an ongoing investment strategy for its automotive titles. Prasher added: “I couldn’t be more excited about the future, as we invest and unlock more potential over the next 12 months.”
Autocar’s sister titles, What Car? and Classic and Sports Car also recorded figures that outperform industry trends, according to the latest ABC figures. What Car?’s circulation was down by just 2%, boosted by a 23% rise in subscribers, while Classic and Sports Car was down by only 5% overall, buoyed by a 5% rise in subscribers.
Founded in 1895, Autocar has long been regarded as a global authority for automotive news, features and new and used car verdicts, with its expert, highly-regarded weekly road test at the heart of its offering.