Corporate sector must take up slack
The SMMT data for last month showed that registrations for both fleets and the sub-25 business sector were up, backed up by a 29.8% rise in overall new car registrations to 145,479 units.
David Raistrick, UK manufacturing leader at Deloitte, commented: 'January's new car registration figures are positive news for the automotive sector as they climb back to the numbers enjoyed two and three years ago.
'The extension of the scrappage scheme is superb news for the industry giving buyers the chance to use up all the available funding.
'For the industry to balance the decrease in private sales as scrappage ends, the corporate car market must grow. Looking at total registration figures over the past two years, the number of corporate cars has decreased from 56% to 49%, while private demand has grown thanks to scrappage. If, as UK businesses pull out of recession, corporate and fleet registrations increase this will help take this figure closer to the long term average of 60% of total sales. This could help boost total annual numbers to the upper end of the forecasted registration figure of 1.8-1.9 million.'