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Glass’s predicts 5% growth for new car registrations in February

So says Andrew Jackson, head of analytic at Glass’s, following on from his success last month at predicting the pattern of new car registrations to within 0.3% of what actually happened.

Commenting on the market to date, Jackson said: ‘The figures are in for January 2014, and the New Year has started optimistically, with the registration of 154,562 cars… just under the 155,000 predicted by Glass’s last month.

‘The initial signs are that December indeed did represent a spike in registrations for the Fleet sector, whilst the Private and Business sectors continued their strong form. January’s figures indicated that Fleet settled back to a rate of growth in-line with late Q3 2013, Business registrations settled at a growth rate similar to late Q4 2013 and Private registrations maintained their acceleration in growth…

‘It is far too early to draw any conclusions from the continued growth in Private registrations; not till the end of Q1 will we be able to see how the pattern of registrations is developing. Nevertheless, this is something that we will be closely monitoring at Glass’s over the next few months.

‘In terms of actual volume month-on-month, January represented a 7.6% growth versus 2013. In volume terms, Fleet registrations were flat (a technical decline of seven units was actually recorded) at 75,210 versus January 2013, whilst Business registrations grew 7.7% versus the previous year to record 7,935 registrations. The largest percentage growth could be attributed to the private sector with a 17% jump to record 71,417 registrations in January, up by more than 10,000 units versus 2013.

‘Across the fuel-types, Diesel-fuelled registrations represented the largest quotient of registrations by volume with 51.4%, whilst petrol registered 46.7%. Alternative Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs), maintained their peripheral market presence with 1.8% of registrations.

‘On the face of the most popular models for January, Ford appears to have started strongly with Fiesta and Focus once again claiming first and second places. However whilst the volume of Fiesta’s registered represent a 15% year-on-year (YoY) growth, Ford’s Focus volumes were down -8% versus January 2013. Vauxhall fared even worse with the third-place Corsa registering 4,470 registrations   (-14%) and Astra with 3,399 registrations (-38%). The biggest winner for January was Volkswagen with the Golf and Polo. These models registered 4,390 (up 32% YoY) and 3,875 (up 34% YoY) respectively.’

Looking ahead to the registrations figures for the whole of February, Jackson added: ‘As the year has started brightly we at Glass’s anticipate that February’s figures should follow the trend of growth. However, as February also represents the last month of the “63-plate” it should also be expected that the volume of vehicles registered will be constrained in the region of 65,000 to 70,000 cars which would represent 5% growth versus February 2013.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.