August was not a quiet month for the automotive industry in Britain.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, new car registrations in the UK climbed up 9.6 per cent in August – another month of continued growth – with 79,060 new cars sold in the month. Registrations increased in the private (7.2%), business (12.1%) and fleet markets (11.8%).
Alternatively-fuelled vehicles are becoming more popular, with the market for electric cars now up to 2.4 per cent share of the market overall.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “August’s strong performance has again been driven by attractive finance deals and a diverse range of technologically advanced models.
“Britain’s budget-conscious buyers are taking advantage of low regular monthly payments that provide certainty and affordability. With September’s new 65-plate now in full swing, we expect UK showrooms to be as busy as ever.”
SMMT pointed out that it’s concerned about the volume of vehicles being bought on finance: “We have seen an ongoing explosion in PCP’s but manufacturers are having to make them ever more attractive in order to continue to sustain growth in the market. At some point, we will reach a situation where… customers stop signing new leases.”
The best-selling cars was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.
David Raistrick, UK manufacturing leader at Deloitte, said: “In a traditionally quiet month, the growth achieved in August is ahead of expectations. Indeed, August registrations have now exceeded the levels achieved in 2007 (77,000). This level has not been reached in the intervening years, even with the assistance of the Government scrappage scheme in 2009.
“Turning to the September numbers, which will include the new 65 number plate registrations, 2014 showed a phenomenal 425,000 vehicles registered. With such a strong August, manufacturers and retailers will be anticipating good sales figures in September. Expectations are high that the number of deals on offer will positively influence the retail market. However, with signs of growth slowing in both the service and manufacturing sectors, last year’s September numbers will be a hard target to beat.”