RAC Cars News


New Car Sales up Again in May

By raccars Published

According to figures released this week by the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), May saw a rise in new car registrations for the fifteenth consecutive month. With a 17,823 increase in sales compared to May 2012, this year saw year on year growth of 11%.

Although the figures are encouraging for the auto industry, sales have not yet regained pre-recession levels previous to 2007. However, private buyer demand was up by 20.9%, a key area of improvement for the industry.

Somewhat predictably, Ford came out on top with 25,674 new registrations for May. The Fiesta maintained its best selling status both for the month and the year to date, while the number two spot was taken by the Focus, taking over from the Vauxhall Corsa in second place the previous month.

Vauxhall probably won't lose too much sleep however, as it was the second best selling manufacturer of the month, with 20,898 registrations. The Corsa was responsible for 3,364 of those, pretty impressive for a seven year old model, closely followed by the Astra.

Volkswagen chalked up sales of 16,370 units during May, largely thanks to the new Golf with more than 5,000 units shifted. With the Golf model range expanding over the coming months, that figure is likely to improve. The Polo takes its traditional place behind the Golf, with 3,201 registrations in May.

Audi was the most successful premium brand and the fifth best selling overall in May, registering 12,265 new units. While the Audi A3 was the most popular car, the marque's position in the best seller list is principally due to its comprehensive model range, which caters for every market segment and buyer, from compact hatchback to supercar.

BMW wasn't far behind its homeland rival with 10,736 registrations, with the 3 Series coming in at number seven in the best selling models list. The 5 Series also managed good business but didn't quite make the top ten in May.

On the other hand, Proton managed an absolutely redundant zero registrations in May. The brand is practically invisible in the UK, with a meagre dealer network and a rather pathetic public image. Things can only get better.

Other losers for May included MG, a brand few people realise is rebuilding itself in China, despite sales of only 13 units in the UK and Perodua with an almost as poor 15 registrations.

Lotus made a paltry 22 registrations during May, while Maserati's place on the loser list is probably attributable to its prestigious status. Thirty five units is not a bad sales figure for vehicles this expensive and exclusive.

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