Positive start for 2013 new car market with January registrations up 11.5%

  • UK new car registrations rose 11.5% to 143,643 units in January 2013.
  • Growth was boosted by 15.9% rise in private registrations during the month.
  • All fuel types showed growth in January. Alternatively-fuelled cars posted a 7.9% rise in volumes.
  • Growth in private and small car demand helped petrol cars see their market share rise.
  • SMMT revises full year forecast to show modest growth in 2013, after an encouraging 2012 performance.

“The new car market has started the year confidently with registrations climbing 11.5% in January,” said Mike Baunton, Interim Chief Executive, SMMT. “Lifted by a solid rise in private demand, the new car market posted its 11th successive month of growth with motorists attracted to forecourts by the latest models and competitive deals on offer. Building on a strong performance in 2012, SMMT has increased its market forecast – we anticipate a modest rise over the year, followed by further growth in 2014.”

Growth momentum in new car market continues in January

  • UK new car registrations continued to grow in January, with an 11.5% rise to 143,643 units.
  • This was the third month of double digit growth in the past four months and the 11th successive monthly rise.
  • Growth was again concentrated in the private market, although all sales types increased registrations in January.
  • The growth is set against a challenging economic backdrop, suggesting market-specific factors are helping to drive demand, such as delayed purchases being tempted by deals and offers.
  • Cost-conscious and environmentally-minded motorists were attracted to the advances in fuel efficiency across all ranges and new alternative propulsion systems that became available during the last 12 months. These include diesel-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles.
  • Registrations of all fuel types rose in January. Petrol cars saw their market share rise, in line with increased volumes by private buyers and of smaller cars, both of which tend towards petrol cars.
  • Most segments recorded growth in January, with the Mini, Dual Purpose, Lower Medium and MPV segments posting double digit gains, largely on the back of new model activity over the past 12 months.
  • The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in January.
  • SMMT revised upwards its full year forecast for 2013 and 2014, after the better than expected growth in 2012. The market is expected to rise by 0.6% to 2.057 million units in 2013 and by 2.6% to 2.11 million units in 2014.

Click through to download the full January 2013 news release and data table.

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