NEW car registrations rose 0.03 per cent to 128,853 units in January, according to the latest figures from the SMMT.
Diesel and alternatively-fuelled cars increased volumes by 6.3 per cent and 17.7 per cent respectively.
The new car market is expected to remain stable in 2012, dipping just by one per cent to 1.92 million units in 2012, before recovering in 2013.
‘The January new car market held firm with 128,853 registrations, marginally up on January 2011, a welcome sign of stability in uncertain economic times,’ said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
‘2012 is set to be an exciting year with record numbers of new models coming to market filled with innovative technology that will save the motorist fuel, enhance comfort and further increase levels of safety and security.
‘However, to maintain market stability, government must act decisively and deliver much-needed confidence to businesses and consumers.’
January typically accounts for around seven per cent of annual registrations, ahead of the key March market, which typically represents 18 per cent of the annual market and approximately 65 per cent of volumes registered in quarter one.
The Ford Fiesta (pictured) was the best-selling model in January. Four of the top sellers were superminis and the segment showed the largest rise in volumes during January. Growth in demand for luxury, dual-purpose, executive and sports segments is also evident.