Rising sales boost confidence in new car market
Registrations grew by 9.3 per cent, not only the fifth successive monthly rise but the biggest of the year.
The figure of 143,884 units contributes to a rise of 40,000 over the first seven months of 2012, up 3.5 per cent on the same period in 2011.
As a result the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is now predicting the full year will see 1.97 million registrations, compared to 1.94 million last year.
Last month the SMMT was predicting 1.95 million units in 2012, and at the start of the year a slight drop on 2011, to 1.92 million.
Yet despite the encouraging signs, the number crunchers are still exercising caution, predicting that the current continuing economic uncertainty will see demand drop back slightly in the second half of the year.
It’s also pointed out that the market has a way to go to get back to the 2.4 million annual figures seen before the recession of 2007.
SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt believes car buyers are the current winners in the market; “International economic stability remains a concern for vehicle manufacturers and the UK market, but intense competition and new fuel efficient products are creating great opportunities for motorists.”
Supermini rivals the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa again top both the monthly and year-to-date market. However notable among the figures is a continuing large rise in sales of alternative-fuelled vehicles, up 45 per cent thanks to the arrival on the market of new vehicles such as the Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt (pictured).
Words by: Andrew Charman