Longest ever period of growth for UK new car market
Figures from the SMMT show that new car registrations rose 7.7 per cent in May to 194,032 units – the most in May since 2004. This means that the new car market has grown for 27 consecutive months, breaking the record set in the late 1980s. Registrations for 2014-to-date have also passed the one million mark, rising 11.6 per cent to 1,058,974 units. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The new car market has now grown in every month since March 2012 – the longest period of growth on record and a reflection of the UK’s ever-improving economic conditions.
“Over the past 27 months, increasingly confident consumers have been drawn to some fantastic new products, attracted by innovative technologies, improved fuel economy and competitive deals helping make a new car more affordable. With SMMT forecasting an overall rise of around 6 per cent over the year, the coming months should see some levelling off in growth rates as underlying demand stabilises.”
With the new car market growing for a record 27 consecutive months, the SMMT looked at buying trends – with the conclusion that motorists are demanding ever-increasing levels of style, comfort and functionality from their cars.
In the decade from 2004 to 2013, the number of cars registered with alloy wheels as standard jumped from 65.0% to 87.1 per cent, while air conditioning was standard on 95.4 per cent of cars in 2013 compared to just 75.3 per cent in 2004.
Commenting on the SMMT’s figures, Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK, said:
“With private vehicle registrations outperforming volumes once again this month, it is evident that consumer confidence in buying cars is on track for a successful year.
“The new products and services offered by dealers and manufacturers during 2014 have in no doubt influenced many consumers to buy. However competitive pricing and strong incentives remain important if the sales trend is to continue throughout the year.”