New car market starts year strongly
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.
The results reinforce the forecast that 2014 is set for more moderate growth than 2013, which saw a total of 2,264,737 cars registered, up 10.8% on 2012 and exceeding the SMMT’s 2.25 million forecast for the year.
‘The new car market ended 2013 on a high, so it is encouraging to see the January market start the year strongly, rising 7.6%,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. ‘As fuel economy is a major consideration for many motorists, ongoing investment by vehicle manufacturers in innovative, fuel-efficient technology is a key factor in the growing demand for new cars. Looking ahead, the UK automotive industry expects to see moderate, sustainable growth in 2014.’
Commenting on the figures, David Raistrick, UK automotive leader at Deloitte, said: ‘The UK new car market has continued the recovery that started some 23 months ago with a positive start to 2014. Indeed, the new registrations for January are the highest recorded since 2008. Although this is too early to draw any significant conclusions, the level of sales will be a cause for optimism that the momentum achieved during 2013 has not been washed away by the particularly wet start to the year.’