New car registrations continue to improve, up 9.3% in July

  • New car registrations rose 9.3% in July to 143,884 units – the fifth monthly gain in a row and the best of 2012.
  • Registrations over the first seven months have risen more than 40,000 units or 3.5% to 1,201,564 units.
  • All fuel types showed increased volumes in July, with alternatively-fuelled registrations up 45.9% in the month.
  • SMMT has revised up its full year forecast for 2012 to 1.97 million units, compared with 1.94 million in 2011.

“New car registrations rose 9.3% in July, continuing the upward trend seen during recent months. SMMT’s full year forecast is for 1.97 million cars to be registered during 2012 suggesting a slight slowing of demand in the second half of the year,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “International economic stability remains a concern for vehicle manufacturers and the UK market, but intense competition and new fuel efficient products are creating great opportunities for motorists.”

July 2012 new car registrations data

July Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
2012 143,884 72,501 69,304 2,079 63,941 74,275 5,668
2011 131,634 68,953 61,256 1,425 50,578 75,503 5,553
% change 9.3% 5.1% 13.1% 45.9% 26.4% -1.6% 2.1%
Mkt share ’12 50.4% 48.2% 1.4% 44.4% 51.6% 3.9%
Mkt share ’11 52.4% 46.5% 1.1% 38.4% 57.4% 4.2%
Year-to-date Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
2012 1,201,564 613,742 571,117 16,705 540,232 611,452 49,880
2011 1,161,272 583,450 563,371 14,451 488,774 613,319 59,179
% change 3.5% 5.2% 1.4% 15.6% 10.5% -0.3% -15.7%
Mkt share ’12 51.1% 47.5% 1.4% 45.0% 50.9% 4.2%
Mkt share ’11 50.2% 48.5% 1.2% 42.1% 52.8% 5.1%

July 2012 and YTD best sellers

Best sellers July Year-to-date
1 Fiesta 7,533 1 Fiesta 67,103
2 Corsa 5,809 2 Corsa 52,956
3 Astra 5,211 3 Focus 48,595
4 Focus 4,742 4 Golf 38,939
5 Golf 4,367 5 Astra 35,694
6 Qashqai 3,721 6 Qashqai 27,156
7 C-Class 3,163 7 3 Series 25,515
8 Polo 2,863 8 Polo 25,212
9 A3 2,711 9 C-Class 20,780
10 Insignia 2,591 10 Insignia 20,481

SMMT revises up forecast for new car registrations in 2012, by 20,000 units to 1.97 million

  • The positive first half performance encouraged SMMT to revise upwards its full year forecast to 1.97 million units, representing a 1.6% rise on 2011′s 1.94 million unit market.
  • Registrations in July, at 143,884 units, were up 9.3% on a year ago, the fifth successive monthly increase and the strongest gain since the Scrappage-boosted increase of July 2010.
  • After the distortions from the Scrappage Incentive Scheme, a degree of pent-up demand and the availability of new products have helped lift new car volumes in 2012. The growth has come despite an unsettled economic backdrop, with disappointing GDP figures and constrained consumer and business spending.
  • On a 12-month rolling basis, registrations have improved by some 40,000 units or 2% since the start of the year to 1.98 million units, but there is still some headway to recover to the 2.4 million, pre-recession, market of 2007.
  • All fuel types saw an increase in volumes in July, most notably the market for alternatively-fuelled cars, up 45.9% as new products entered the marketplace. Demand for petrol cars was also boosted by strong growth in the Mini segment, again reflective of new model activity.
  • The Mini segment grew 93.4% in July, and the Dual Purpose by 42.5%, with the Supermini and MPV markets also showing double-digit growth in the month.
  • The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model in July and over the first seven months of 2012.

Click through to download the full July 2012 new car registrations news release and data table.

New car registrations

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New car registrations