SMMT: May sees private demand top pre-recession levels

Time 8:05 am, June 6, 2013

delaershipUK new car registrations grew 11 per cent in May to 180,111 units.

The SMMT says the month saw private demand climb 20.9 per cent, outperforming pre-recession volumes recorded in 2007. However, May’s total new car market remains down on 2007 levels.

May’s new car market secured the 15th successive month of growth and the largest May volume in six years. Registrations have risen 9.3 per cent for the year-to-date to 948,666 units.

The year-to-date new car market remains 9.2 per cent off 2007 volumes for the same period, but trends among private buyers provide a good indication that consumer confidence is strong.

‘The performance of new car registrations in May marks a significant milestone for UK automotive, with cars registered by private buyers rising more than 20 per cent, bettering pre-recession volumes posted in 2007,’ said SMMT interim chief executive, Mike Baunton.

‘While it is clear that buying confidence among UK motorists is very strong, continued economic uncertainty abroad, particularly in the rest of Europe, will mean that manufacturers remain cautious about performance in the second half of 2013.’

Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, said: The British appetite for new cars seems insatiable, with May seeing another large increase in purchases, and private demand jumping above pre-credit crisis levels.

‘This is the 15th month running they have increased, so manufacturers and dealers will have to work hard to maintain improved like-for-like sales as we move into the summer, and there is already some anecdotal evidence to suggest that dealership footfall may be shifting down a gear. That said we don’t expect the market to fall away and expect sales will grow, albeit at a slower pace.’



James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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