New car registrations up four per cent in October

Time 8 years ago

SMMT-Image-300x114NEW car registrations in October grew by four per cent to 157,354 units, according to the latest SMMT figures.

SMMT raised its new car forecast from 2.22m to 2.25m units for 2013, with the market set to stabilise and grow at around one per cent in 2014 and 2015.

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Registrations year-to-date climbed 10.2 per cent to reach 1,952,328 units.

According to the SMMT, the private market continues to drive total volumes up, with a 4.5 per cent gain in October and a 15.7 per cent increase over year-to-date.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: ‘With October new car registrations up we have now seen 20 consecutive months of growth. These sustained rises have been driven by robust private demand, a trend that has given us the confidence to raise our year-end forecast to 2.25 million units – 10 per cent ahead of last year. Looking ahead, we anticipate more moderate growth as the market stabilises.’

Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays, Richard Lowe, added: ‘October is historically a good month for new car sales, thanks to the hangover of the popular September plate change but, this October has proved exceptional, posting the 20th consecutive month of increases. As we drive into the traditionally quiet winter months we predict sales will continue to hold steady, keeping the UK market ahead of Europe.’

Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, Sue Robinson, SAID: ‘It is encouraging to see that the new car market has continued to remain strong during October, making 20 consecutive months of growth for new car registrations.

‘New car sales figures, released today, show month on month sales were up 10.2 per cent compared to October last year. Private registrations have risen 15.7 per cent over the year-to-date, helping the overall market rise 4.5 per cent.’

She added: ‘It is positive to see that new car registrations are continuing on an upward trend as 2013 draws to a close, and it is clear to see consumer confidence is still on a high following last month’s plate change.

‘Figures show month-on-month sales were 10% ahead of last year and we expect the market to remain stable for the remainder of the year. Consumers are opting for smaller, fuel efficient vehicles which are cheaper to maintain. The trend appears to be driven by consumers wanting to reduce motoring costs.’

KPMG’s UK head of automotive,John Leech, said: ‘The UK new car market grew by four per cent in October 2013, compared to 12.1 per cent growth in September and 15.7 per cent growth year to date for 2013.

‘Today’s numbers suggest that the tremendous growth we have seen in the UK new car market over the last few months is starting to return to a more sustainable growth path. And for the first time in over a year, the three other main European markets have had a similar experience, with new registrations in Germany growing by two per cent, France by three per cent while registrations in Italy fell by five per cent due to a VAT increase taking effect.

‘This slower pace of growth seems much more sustainable especially considering the potential impact the huge growth rates in new car registrations might have on used car prices. One feature of the recent increase in new car retail sales has been the availability of cheap finance from car manufacturer-funded personal car plans. Cars sold on a PCP tend to churn faster as they approach their third birthday as consumers are faced with the choice of a large balloon payment to retain the vehicle or a replacement new car on another PCP. It is hoped that a slower pace of new car sales will avert a used car price crash such as the one seen in 2008.

‘With improving UK economic conditions and rising house prices having a positive impact on consumer confidence we continue to forecast that strong private demand will see new car registrations grow by five per cent in 2014 and beyond.’

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