New car registrations rise for forth successive month in June
Private demand recovered over H1 of 2012, seeing an 8.7% rise in total unit registrations. The fleet sector has remained on par with last year’s figures, while demand in the business sector has fallen.
A noticeable change in trend from June’s registration figures is that new developments in vehicle technology have helped average CO2 emissions to fall by 4% to 134.1g/km over H1.
There was strong demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles throughout the months of June as total unit registrations for such vehicles rose by 47.8%. Diesel registrations also witnessed a strong increase, claiming over 50% of the total market share for fuel types at 51.2% (+1.2%).
The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model in June and over the first half of 2012.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: ‘Driven by demand from private buyers, June new car registrations grew 3.5% to push 2012 half-year volumes through the one million mark. Despite domestic and international economic concerns, UK motorists are responding positively to new products and the latest fuel-efficient technology. The industry has performed better than expected in the first half of the year and we will now need to work hard to sustain growth.’
David Raistrick, UK Manufacturing Leader at Deloitte said: 'While incessant wet weather across the UK has hurt the high street retail sales earlier this year, it does not seem to be troubling car retailers yet. New car sales in June 2012 has increased for the fourth consecutive month and performed positively compared to the same time last year, despite June being the wettest month since records began in 1910. While our economic challenges cannot be solely blamed on our changing climate, consumers tend to stay indoors rather than go to dealerships when the weather is poor so this is good news for manufacturing.
'The UK also continues to perform incredibly well in new car sales compared to our European neighbours. Recent months have seen the UK dealerships reporting increased sales as against FY11, while there have been significant contractions, ranging between 7% and 19% over the first 5 months of FY12 in the Spanish, Belgian French and Italian markets. In Germany, the initial gains achieved from January to April have almost been wiped out by the 5% contraction in May.
'This would suggest the current financial woes being experienced in continental Europe are directly affecting new car sales in the major automotive markets. The new car buyer in the UK is having the confidence to go ahead with their purchase on the basis that all indicators point to interest rates staying low with the added benefit that there are plenty of attractively priced products available to entice customers into the dealerships,' he added.