RAC Cars News


Growth In Low Emissions Sales In May

By raccars Published

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May was another good month for the auto industry, as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports the 39th consecutive month of gains in new car sales. The ultra low emissions sector (ULEV), in particular saw growth, which includes electric cars and hybrids.

May's sales figures take the total for the year to date to over 1.1 million new cars registered. 198,706 new vehicles were registered last month for growth of 2.4%, of which 11,842 were ultra low emissions vehicles - that's 417% more than the same month last year. The SMMT claims that better understanding of the benefits of low emissions vehicles among consumers is the reason for the surge in sales, while there are also far more ULEVs to choose from now than there were in 2011 - about twenty compared to six, four years ago. Plug in hybrid or range extender vehicles experienced the most dramatic surge within the ULEV sector over the last year. Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV is the best selling ULEV and it has seen sales double, from 4,700 units last year to 11,000 already this year.

The SMMT expects growth to continue in the ULEV sector as the range of cars available widens, while the rest of the new car market is expect to settle as the year goes on. Interestingly, new products and generous finance packages continue to be the draw for new car buyers, particularly as this year marks the end of a three year cycle of replacement purchases, as the market picked up after the end of the recession.

While there were some changes to the usual suspects in the top ten last month, the best selling model yet again in May was the Ford Fiesta, to the surprise of nobody, with 9,349 units registered. It was followed by its stablemate, the Ford Focus, with 7,355 new registrations, then the Vauxhall Corsa with 6,513 unit sales. The Volkswagen Golf took fourth place with 5,897 new registrations, the Vauxhall Astra was fifth with 4,916, while the Mini made a new entry into the top ten, with unit sales of 4,095. It was followed by the VW Polo with 4,028 new registrations, the Audi A3 with 3,999, then the Nissan Qashqai slipping down to ninth, with 3,978 unit sales. Its junior sibling, the Nissan Juke, took the tenth spot with 3,897 sales.

A notable success in May was Jeep, which sold 210% more cars than the same month last year, which has been attributed to the release of its new compact SUV, the Renegade, and the launch of an updated Cherokee.

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