Private demand drives growth in April new car market

  • New car registrations rose 3.3% in April to 142,322 units.
  • This was the third, and largest, increase this year with January-April volumes up 1.4%.
  • Private registrations grew 14.8% in April, continuing the sector’s recovery.
  • SMMT revises up its full year forecast to 1.95 million units, now higher than 2011 by 0.4%.

“A strong April new car market has raised confidence across the UK motor industry with registrations increasing 3.3%,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “We are seeing a steady increase in consumer confidence with growth in private demand, boosted by the arrival of a raft of new products. SMMT has increased its full year forecast to 1.95 million units, putting the market marginally ahead of 2011, indicating a period of relative stability.”

April Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
2012 142,322 74,566 65,917 1,839 61,810 74,485 6,027
2011 137,746 72,588 63,172 1,986 53,841 77,117 6,788
% change 3.3% 2.7% 4.3% -7.4% 14.8% -3.4% -11.2%
Mkt share ’12 52.4% 46.3% 1.3% 43.4% 52.3% 4.2%
Mkt share ’11 52.7% 45.9% 1.4% 39.1% 56.0% 4.9%
Year-to-date Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
2012 705,878 358,438 337,403 10,037 326,691 348,383 30,804
2011 696,082 343,612 342,722 9,748 304,443 352,486 39,153
% change 1.4% 4.3% -1.6% 3.0% 7.3% -1.2% -21.3%
Mkt share ’12 50.8% 47.8% 1.4% 46.3% 49.4% 4.4%
Mkt share ’11 49.4% 49.2% 1.4% 43.7% 50.6% 5.6%

 

Best sellers April Year-to-date
1 Fiesta 8,780 1 Fiesta 42,170
2 Corsa 6,184 2 Corsa 29,934
3 Focus 5,491 3 Focus 29,933
4 Astra 4,684 4 Golf 22,394
5 3 Series 3,737 5 Astra 19,578
6 Golf 3,600 6 Polo 15,743
7 Polo 3,579 7 Qashqai 15,481
8 Qashqai 2,990 8 3 Series 13,685
9 Insignia 2,751 9 Insignia 12,082
10 500 2,600 10 207 11,957


Market remains stable, with further modest recovery in new car registrations in April

  • The new car market rose 3.3% or 4,576 units in April to 142,322 units. This was the third and largest percentage increase in the first four months of the year. The outturn was 1.9% ahead of SMMT’s forecast for the month.
  • The market over the January-April period rose 1.4% or 9,796 units to 705,878 units. The market appears to be stabilising and during the month the annual running rate surpassed 1.95 million units for the first time since October.
  • SMMT has revised upwards its full year 2012 forecast to 1.948 million units, a modest net 0.4% rise in volumes over 2011′s 1.941 million units. Further 2.6% growth, to 1.999 million units, is forecast for the 2013 market.
  • April and year-to-date volumes were lifted by recovery in the private market, up 14.8% in the month and 7.3% in the year-to-date.
  • The growth in registrations comes on top of a weak 2011 performance. Total registrations to April are some 18% below the 2007, pre-recession level, but 15% above the low of 2009.
  • The market share for petrol cars grew in April, although over the first four months of the year diesel and alternatively-fuelled car registrations have shown volume and market share growth.
  • Small car demand (Mini and Supermini) rose strongly in April, as too did volumes of Dual Purpose segment cars. The Executive and Sports Car markets also rose, showing diverse market growth across vehicle segments.
  • The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model in April and over the first four months of 2012.

Click through to download the full April 2012 new car registrations news release and data tables.

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