149,191 new cars were plated up – meaning the UK car market is now the second largest in Europe, down to a combination of our growth and a drop in demand across other big markets.
The market has also grown 5.4 per cent in the January to November period – something the SMMT says puts this year’s performance on track to be the ‘best since 2008’.
There were no surprises on the list of best selling models – with the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhalls Corsa and Astra, and Volkswagen Golf all achieving top five positions. The Ford Focus did sneak into top position, however – pushing its smaller sibling off the podium.
It was private sales leading the figures – increasing 20 per cent in November, and 5.4 per cent year-to-date. Fleet registrations increased by just 3.4 per cent in the same month.
‘New car registrations rose 11.3% in November, positioning the UK new car market as the second largest in Europe,’ commented SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.
‘The upward trend has been driven by private retail customers. The outlook for 2013 remains challenging, but vehicle manufacturers and their dealers will continue to work hard to attract motorists to their showrooms and deliver outstanding value.’
Barclays’s head of retail and wholesale Richard Lowe agrees – putting the increase down to private sales alone. ‘New car sales have continued to outperform – driven by private demand rather than business,’ he commented.
‘However, it is clear that a number of challenges remain, and the sector will do well to maintain the performance levels seen during 2012. That said, this is a resilient and dynamic sector which has proved its ability to cope with changing demands.’