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UK auto industry growth continues

By raccars Published

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For the 26th consecutive month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has reported a rise in new car registrations in the UK. 176,820 new registrations were recorded in April, an increase of 8.2% or 13,463 units over the same month last year.

This means that new car registrations for the year to date are up to 864,942 units, a 12.5% improvement upon year to date figures by the end of April 2013. As a result the SMMT has revised up its whole year forecast for 2014 to 2.4 million units from its original prediction of 2.3 million.

The good news has been attributed in part to renewed consumer confidence, but the introduction of new '14' registration plates in March took new car sales to their highest for 10 years. Once again, the Ford Fiesta was Britain's best selling car, selling 10,250 units in April.

Diesels outsold petrol in April at 90,920 units to 82,951, for a slightly higher market share than last year. Alternatively fuelled vehicles chalked up sales of 2,949, for a market share of 1.7%, versus 1.1% in April last year.

After the Ford Fiesta, the Ford Focus at 6,772 unit sales was the second best selling car in the UK in April, followed by the VW Golf at 5,302 units. The Vauxhall Corsa was the fourth best selling model with sales of 3,949, the Audi A3 fifth at 3,754, the Nissan Qashqai in its usual sixth spot with 3,753 and the Vauxhall Astra seventh with 3,562. Eighth was the VW Polo, selling 3,449 units, ninth the Nissan Juke on 3,053 and the Fiat 500 takes the tenth spot with sales of 2,928.

Apart from growth in UK sales, new car registrations in the EU were up for the seventh month in a row, with growth of 8.4% over the first quarter of 2014. Q1 sales in the EU in 2014 rose to 3.25 million units, with France, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as the UK, the top five markets in the region, all recording improved figures. However, the UK's sales growth has boosted it to the second largest market for new cars in the EU, reporting the highest rate of growth in the EU for the first quarter, with the help of the March registration plate change.

It wasn't quite blanket good news, as commercial registrations fell by 4.2% in April, mostly thanks to new emissions legislation that saw truck sales drop by nearly a quarter.

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