SMMT: New car registrations up 1.8% in March, but Fleet and Business sectors stumble
According to the report, March is widely considered as the largest month for registrations, occupying 18% of the market's total annual volume.
In total, first quarter volumes rose by 0.9% to 563,556 units, due to a combination of better than expected sales figures for March and rising customer demand for popular 12-plate vehicles.
The report also went on to indicate that consumer confidence is on the rise, with private registrations up by 7.4% in March – one of the highest increases this market has seen in the past two years. @[email protected]
New car registrations in the fleet sector were down modestly by 0.5% on figures recorded in March 2011, with sales totalling 165,576 (2011: 166,357). This was felt slightly more by the business sector which unfortunately saw total sales dip to 17,772 units (2011: 23, 301) – down 23.7% on figures recorded from March last year.
Ford once more claimed "top-spot" in both market share and higest selling model statistics. With a 14.4% share of the market in March and 14.7% year-to-date, Ford outmuscled Vauxhall by a clear margin in both instances. The Ford Fiesta, followed then by the Vauxhall Corsa are indicative of strong demand for smaller compact models as the economic confidence gradually improves.
Paul Everitt (Inset), SMMT chief executive, said: 'The important March new car market performed above expectations rising 1.8% to 372,835 units, boosted by the third consecutive month of retail growth. Domestic demand for new cars is showing signs of recovery with private buyers increasingly returning to take advantage of a wide range of excellent products and, this month, the new 12-plate.'