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KPMG predicts 5% rise in UK new car sales in 2014

Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 154,562 new cars were registered last month, with private demand contributing 71,417 units, up 17.0%.

The fleet sector remained steady, with registrations of 75,210 compared to 75,217 in January 2013, while the sub-25 business sector rose 7.7% from 7,365 units to 7,935 units.

In response, John Leech, KPMG’s UK head of automotive, said: ‘As expected, the recent strong UK car sales were maintained in January driven largely by cheap finance offered by car manufacturers but also bolstered by continuing PPI claim payouts and substantial fuel cost savings available from switching to a new car. These elements are likely to remain in place in 2014 and as such, we forecast that new car sales will grow by 5% during 2014. 

‘Car sales also grew across the EU, with sales up in Germany by 7%, Italy by 3% and France by 0.5%. The UK car market is almost back at its long-run average, but the EU market is only at three-quarters of its long-run average, as such there is great potential for UK car factories to increase their exports to the EU during 2014. The recent appreciation of Sterling compared to the Euro is really the only headwind facing them at the moment and we remain bullish that UK car production will grow by 8% this year.’

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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.