- New car registrations fell less than expected in February, dropping just 7.7% to 63,424 units.
- February outturn was above expectations and only just below the scrappage-boosted 2010 market.
- Registrations over the first two months of 2011 were down 10.2% to 192,235 units.
- First six months of 2011 are expected to be down by 8.3% before picking up in the latter half of the year.
- February typically accounts for just 3% of annual sales, ahead of the March plate change.
“The UK motor industry is looking for a strong March market to help boost confidence and kick start demand for the new 11-plate. February new car registrations were better than expected and whilst below 2010 levels, they were significantly ahead of 2009 and on an improving trend,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “This month’s Budget will be critical in determining consumer and business confidence and the ongoing stability of the market. We’re looking for certainty on motoring taxes, a freeze on fuel duty and measures that support business investment and access to finance and credit.”