Resilient new car market growth continues in October

  • UK new car registrations rose 12.1% to 151,252 units in October, bucking current demand trends in Europe.
  • The new car market has increased 5.0% over the year-to-date, growing in all but one month, totalling 1,771,861 units. This represents an increase of 83,823 units on a year ago.
  • Petrol, diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicle markets posted strong growth in the month and over the year-to-date, with most vehicle segments growing as well, notably small car and dual purpose segments.
  • SMMT has revised up its forecast for the full year to over two million units, from 1.94 million in 2011.

“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,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “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.”

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

October 2012 new car registrations data

October Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
2012 151,252 78,507 70,539 2,206 68,191 77,741 5,320
2011 134,944 72,108 61,247 1,589 55,043 74,400 5,501
% change 12.1% 8.9% 15.2% 38.8% 23.9% 4.5% -3.3%
Mkt share ’12 51.9% 46.6% 1.5% 45.1% 51.4% 3.5%
Mkt share ’11 53.4% 45.4% 1.2% 40.8% 55.1% 4.1%
Year-to-date Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business
2012 1,771,861 895,943 851,652 24,266 813,139 881,182 77,540
2011 1,688,038 846,485 820,098 21,455 723,533 877,328 87,177
% change 5.0% 5.8% 3.8% 13.1% 12.4% 0.4% -11.1%
Mkt share ’12 50.6% 48.1% 1.4% 45.9% 49.7% 4.4%
Mkt share ’11 50.1% 48.6% 1.3% 42.9% 52.0% 5.2%

October 2012 and YTD best sellers

Best sellers October Year-to-date
1 Fiesta 8,058 1 Fiesta 96,805
2 Corsa 6,285 2 Corsa 78,760
3 Focus 5,834 3 Focus 70,355
4 Astra 5,754 4 Golf 54,300
5 Golf 4,158 5 Astra 52,879
6 3 Series 3,762 6 Qashqai 39,432
7 Qashqai 3,567 7 3 Series 38,102
8 1 Series 3,029 8 Polo 36,939
9 MINI 2,970 9 C-Class 32,427
10 Polo 2,952 10 500 29,215

October growth sets-up full year 2012 market to top two million units

  • Against a backdrop of weak European demand for cars the UK market has proved remarkably resilient.
  • The UK new car market has increased in every month this year, apart from February, which is traditionally a low-volume month.
  • Registrations in October rose 12.1% or 16,308 units to 151,252 units, while volumes over the first 10 months of 2012 increased 5.0% or 83,823 units to 1,771,861 units.
  • The year-to-date performance is still some 16% or 335,000 units below the 2007, pre-recession volume.
  • The growth in 2012 reflects an improvement in private demand, while fleet demand has sustained the volumes recovered in 2011.
  • Demand for small cars has risen rapidly, in part due to new models. The Mini segment has grown by 52.0% over the year-to-date and the Supermini segment by 5.8% or over 35,000 units. Collectively these two segments account for close to 40% of the market.
  • The Ford Fiesta (a Supermini) was the best-selling new car in October and the year-to-date.
  • Petrol and diesel fuel types posted growth in October and over the year-to-date. The alternatively-fuelled car market showed strong growth in recent months, reflecting new model activity.
  • In October, SMMT revised up its full year 2012 forecast to 2.013 million units from 1.97 million forecast in July and 1.92 million at the start of the year. The market is forecast to be stable in 2013 at 2.015 million units.

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

New car registrations

Find monthly new car registration data and in-depth analysis here.

New car registrations