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Figures show that new car sales have risen 7 per cent to a record high for the first half of the year, with June marking the 40th successive month for rising sales.
The increase in sales has been attributed to an increase in buyers taking advantage of finance deals and low interest rates in order to purchase the latest models.
The SMMT has reported that registrations have risen by 7 per cent in the first six months of the year and for the 40th month in a row, a figure that is 324 higher than the previous record held in the first half of 2004. In addition, June sales figures have risen 12.9 per cent to 257,817 vehicles.
The new figures confirm that car sales have even continued to rise during periods of financial uncertainty thanks to manufacturers offering deals to buyers allowing them to lease cars and then trade them in. The SMMT believe that those deals combined with improved efficiency on new models has kept demand high.
The sales of British-built cars were the strongest they have been in 5 years, with one in six buyers opting for new British cars such as the UK built Vauxhall Astra, Nissan Qashqai and BMW Mini.
Mike Hawes, SMMT’s chief executive, said: “It is encouraging to see more consumers choosing British models. This is important for the wider economy with 799,000 people now employed across the UK automotive sector, including retail.”
“We anticipate a flatter second half of the year, as the market finds its natural running rate.”
Sales of electric and hybrid cars have increased by 71 per cent in June to 7,110 thanks to a larger range of models available and a greater number of plug-in charge points. A £5,000-a-car government grant remains in place to encourage sales of electric vehicles.
The Ford Fiesta remained the most popular car in the first half of 2015, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and the Ford Focus.