The positive statistics follow the release in early January of figures for the whole of 2013, showing growth of 10.8 per cent over 2012 to 2,264,737 units.
Registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles outperformed the overall market in the first month of 2014, growing 25 per cent and taking an improved 1.8 per cent share of the volume.
Today’s picture continues the welcome upward trend and with the March 1 plate change just around the corner, the prospects for 2014 are looking increasingly bright.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: ‘The new car market ended 2013 on a high, so it is encouraging to see the January market start the year strongly.
‘As fuel economy is a major consideration for many motorists, ongoing investment by vehicle manufacturers in innovative, fuel-efficient technology is a key factor in the growing demand for new cars. Looking ahead, the UK automotive industry expects to see moderate, sustainable growth in 2014.’
Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said: ‘The momentum seen in 2013 is continuing this year, with many consumers marking the first month of 2014 with the purchase of a new car.
‘The fantastic finance deals, launch of new car models and the plate change in March are all likely to keep demand high for the next few months, before the market stabilises to a more sustainable level.’
- Is pre-registration rife? Manufacturers give Car Dealer their views. Click here.
- Is the industry in denial about the prevalence of pre-registrations? Click here.