RAC Cars News


UK Car Sales Continue Upward Trend

By raccars Published

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New car registration figures for July have been released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), showing that sales rose again, marking 29 consecutive months of growth. There were 172,907 new car registrations last month, which is 6% higher than the same month last year.

Generous finance packages and the strengthening UK economy are believed to be responsible for the record breaking year on year growth period, helping total new car sales for the year to date reach 1,460,172 units, a 10.1% improvement upon last year's sales for the same period. As a result, the SMMT's full year forecast for 2014 has been revised up once again by 8.1%, to 2.45 million registrations of passenger cars.

While these figures should return Britain's auto industry quite firmly to the ground it used to occupy pre-recession, the SMMT cautions that stabilisation is returning to the market and large leaps in growth cannot be sustained, with sales levelling off a little over the last three months.

Once again, the Ford Fiesta was the best selling car of the month, following recent confirmation that it has now taken the Escort's title as the best selling car ever in the UK. With 8,854 unit sales, the Fiesta sold significantly more than the second best selling model for July, the Ford Focus, at 6,013. The Vauxhall Corsa was in familiar territory shifting 5,467 units, followed by the VW Golf in fourth place with 5,135 unit sales. The Nissan Qashqai sold 4,729 units to take fifth place. The rest of the top ten was filled by the Vauxhall Astra, Audi A3, Fiat 500, BMW 3 Series and the Mini.

Diesel sales grew to take a 52.8% slice of the pie, compared to petrol engined cars at 45.3%. However the recent news that diesel car drivers are to be penalised as a result of higher levels of noxious emissions, could change that going forward. Alternatively fuelled vehicles are continuing their slow but steady rise, racking up a 1.9% market share this July, as opposed to 1.5% in the same month last year.

More notably there has been some significant growth in the number of cars fitted with various forms of driverless technology. Adaptive Cruise Control is fitted now on double the amount of cars that were using the system in 2010, and the installation of collision warning systems has risen by 7% in the last four years, to become included as standard or as an option on more than a third of new car sales.

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