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October brought another strong month for the car industry with UK new car registrations enjoying a 12.1 per cent rise to 151,252 units, proving that despite the weak demand for cars throughout Europe, the UK market has remained resilient.
In fact, the new car market has increased by as much as 5 per cent over the year to date, and aside from one stand alone month, has totalled 1,771,861 units, which is an increase of 83,823 units on the same time last year.
Petrol, diesel and alternatively fuelled vehicles have posted strong growth during the month and throughout the year to date, with most vehicle segments expanding, in particular the small car and the MPV sectors.
The reason behind the increase in demand for small cars is partly due to new models being released, but mainly because in the current financial climate people are looking to downsize their cars and opting for models that are more economical and environmentally friendly instead.
Superminis are one of the most popular choices of car with the Mini segment growing by 52.0% over the year-to-date, whilst the Ford Fiesta still remains the best-selling new car in October and throughout 2012. As a whole, the Supermini segment has increased to 35,000 units, and along with Mini, these two segments account for close to 40 per cent of the entire market.
Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said: “Despite uncertainty in the European economy, the UK new car market continues to grow, with registrations rising more than 12% in October to 151,252 units. It is encouraging to see the alternatively-fuelled vehicle market performing strongly, up 13% so far this year. Although the alternatively-fuelled vehicle sector represents only a small share of the overall market, it is vital that government sustains its consumer incentive programme and maximises the benefits available through the vehicle taxation system.”
With such positive results, in October the SMMT revised its forecast for the entire year to over two million units, which is a notable step up from the 1.94 million units sold in 2011.