February Registrations Down
The UK’s February new car registrations are down 14,368 units or 15.7 per cent to 77,092. However the decrease was expected due to the twice-yearly plate change, reports the SMMT with February accounting for a mere 3.5 per cent of the annual market.
Commenting on the figures, SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan, said, “February is traditionally a slow month as new car buyers and the motor industry prepare for the surge that accompanies the March plate change. After last year’s significant growth in the first quarter, we expect March registrations to fall by around six per cent. While this is lower than last year’s record total, it still represents a new car market in good shape.”
All three areas of the market (private, business and fleet) reported slow business in February. Year-to-date figures were down 10.5 per cent, following a record first quarter in 2004.
On a more positive note the diesel market saw an increase of 3.5 per cent in February to 28,208 units. UK-built cars saw their market share rise to 19.3 per cent, its best since March 2004 and above the 17.2 per cent share taken last February.
The March market is predicted to reach 437,000 units, worth around £5.9 billion.