Car registrations up 7.6% in January
According to statistics published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new car registrations in the UK rose 7.6 per cent year-on-year. Last year’s best-seller the Ford Fiesta retained the top ranking in January 2014, with 9,072 units registered during the month. Ford also occupied the number two position, with Focus registrations reaching 5,333 units, while the Vauxhall Corsa was the third best-selling car in the UK, with 4,470 units registered.
“The new car market ended 2013 on a high, so it is encouraging to see the January market start the year strongly, rising 7.6 per cent,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “As fuel economy is a major consideration for many motorists, ongoing investment by vehicle manufacturers in innovative, fuel-efficient technology is a key factor in the growing demand for new cars. Looking ahead, the UK automotive industry expects to see moderate, sustainable growth in 2014.”
SMMT figures show that registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) outperformed the overall market in January, growing 25 per cent year-on-year and taking an improved 1.8 per cent share of volumes. Petrol-electric hybrids accounted for almost all AFV registrations in 2008. Since then, the increased availability of pure electric, plug-in and diesel-electric powertrains has helped the overall AFV market gain more traction.
The new government/industry ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign to promote the advantages of ultra-low emission vehicles will provide a further stimulus to this market, the SMMT opines. The Plug-In Car Grant (up to £5,000) continues to provide an incentive to buyers of pure electric and plug-in vehicles.