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September was the second largest month for new car registrations, behind March which saw 366,101 units sold, representing 17 per cent of the annual market.
Overall, the demand for new cars is down 5 per cent since 2010, but quarter three saw a drop of only 0.7 per cent. However, the outlook remains uncertain for the year due to weakening economic growth and confidence, combined with the unstable global financial markets.
One of the noticeable changes in the types of car being purchased in today’s market is that the average new car registered between January and September 2011 has CO2 emissions of 138.5g/km which marks a 23.5 per cent drop in CO2 from the year 2000 when the level was as high as 181.0g/km.
The CO2 figure has been improved by the introduction of more diesel cars on the roads as well as the growth in electric vehicle sales.
It has also recently been reported that more motorists are opting for smaller city cars and superminis than ever before as they offer better fuel economy and less CO2 emissions; they are also cheaper to buy as well as run.
Other motorists are simply choosing to travel by public transport whenever possible to reduce the astronomical prices of fuel being offered at the pumps.
The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model last month and also for the year-to-date, with supermini cars accounting for the largest proportion of sales in September at 37.8 per cent.
The all-important September market outperformed expectations and is less than 1% below last year at 332,476 units,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “We expected 2011 to be a challenging year and we are on track for a full year total of around 1.92 million new car registrations, 5% below 2010.
SMMT has revised down its 2012 registrations forecast to 1.96 million units; a reflection of the continued weakness in UK domestic demand and the uncertainty across European economies. It is important government acts to sustain an investment-led recovery and implements measures to encourage more private sector investment in R&D, skills, new plants and machinery.”
The SMMT has in fact predicted that the 2011 market will decline further in the fourth quarter and will end 2011 with approximately 1.92 million units sold.