RAC Cars News


SMMT Figures For June 2013

By raccars Published

The British new car industry is continuing its winning streak, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reporting sales grew by 13.4% in June. 25,443 more new cars were sold last month than in the same period last year, with the total for the month at 214,957.

This marks a 10% increase for the year to date, with new car registrations for 2013 passing a million in June, to make 1,163623 unit sales.

As usual, Ford's Fiesta took the top spot, with 11,332 unit sales in June, followed by its larger sibling, the Focus, with 9,128 new registrations. The Vauxhall Corsa is in its familiar third place, with 8,868 units shifted and the Vauxhall Astra fourth on sales of 7,074. The fifth spot goes to the VW Golf on 5,875, while the top ten remains surprise free, rounded out by the BMW 3 Series, the VW Polo, BMW 1 Series, Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 208.

In encouraging news for the industry, over 21% of the month's new registrations were from private sales but the SMMT lays the explanation for the increasing sales figures largely at the door of more fuel efficient technology. The cheaper running cost of newer cars is fuelling growth in the industry, compared to less economical used models, with average CO2 emissions down by 3.7% compared to last year. Average emissions figures now stand at 129.1g/km.

Improving jobs and housing markets have contributed to a general upturn in UK manufacturing and consumer confidence. June marked the 16th consecutive month of growth in new car sales for the country, making it likely that year end figures will surpass those recorded for 2012.

With the continental European new car market suffering a reversal in fortunes, the SMMT's report is particularly important to the UK automotive industry. 700,000 jobs rely on the £59 billion industry. By comparison, new car registrations in Germany and France have fallen by 100,000 since the beginning of this year.

The UK's largest car manufacturer is Nissan, with its super successful Sunderland assembly plant already turning out the Juke and Qashqai crossover models, while it was recently announced that the company's Note hatchback will also move to Sunderland, resulting in the creation of a further 2,000 jobs. With construction handled by Sunderland, engineering takes place at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield.

The SMMT has also noticed commercial vehicle sales volumes growing, up 4.5% in June and 7.6% over six months. The figures are driven by healthy van sales, while demand for trucks is slightly down on 2012 figures.

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