You”ll never forget 5 -1

09 May 2001 #SMMT News

What were you doing on the day England beat Germany 5 – 1 in

Munich? Were you one of the millions who watched the match at your local pub?

Perhaps you were huddled round a television set with friends? Maybe though you

were one of thousands of people unable to tear themselves away from the wheels

of their new cars.

Because as well as an historic England football victory, for

thousands of excited new car buyers 1 September signalled the chance to take

advantage of excellent new car deals – and a completely new registration plate

system. By coincidence, new cars registered from 1 September feature 51 on the

numberplate. The 51 identifies the date on which the car was registered but,

to millions of people, it now has an even wider significance that makes it easy

to remember: England’s stunning 5 – 1 victory over Germany.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘We thought

that it might take some time for people to get used to the change to the registration

plate system. But it seems that England’s footballers have given us the perfect

memory cue to remember what the age identifier 51 means. 1 September 2001 will

now be etched on the brains of millions throughout the country.

‘ The industry predicts that September 2001 will be another

bumper month, following 10 months of growth in the new car market. New car registrations

are expected to top 400,000 units, compared to 353,494 units in September 2000,

with figures boosted by the new registration plate format.

The new registration plate still features seven characters.

The first two letters identify the region in which the vehicle was registered.

Two numbers, starting with 51, comprise the date identifier with three random

letters completing the plate.


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