- New car registrations rose 0.03% to 128,853 units in January.
- Diesel and alternatively-fuelled cars increased volumes, up 6.3% and 17.7% respectively.
- The new car market is expected to remain stable in 2012, dipping just 1% to 1.92 million units in 2012, before recovering in 2013.
“The January new car market held firm with 128,853 registrations, marginally up on January 2011, a welcome sign of stability in uncertain economic times,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “2012 is set to be an exciting year with record numbers of new models coming to market filled with innovative technology that will save the motorist fuel, enhance comfort and further increase levels of safety and security. However, to maintain market stability, government must act decisively and deliver much needed confidence to businesses and consumers.”
Market remains stable at start of 2012
- New car registrations rose 0.03% or 42 units in January 2012 to 128,853 units.
- January’s performance was boosted by the private market, up 2.7% on January 2011 and further growth in the fleet sector.
- January typically accounts for around 7% of annual registrations, ahead of the key March market, which typically represents 18% of the annual market and approximately 65% of volumes registered in quarter one.
- Demand for diesel cars continues to rise and its market share moved from 50.5% a year ago to 53.7%, as motorists look to ensure increased fuel efficiency. Registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose by 17.7% in the month and accounted for 1.6% of the market, mirroring the record levels confirmed in November and December 2011, on the back of new products entering the market.
- The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in January 2012. Four of the top sellers were Superminis and the segment showed the largest rise in volumes during January. Growth in demand for Luxury, Dual Purpose, Executive and Sports segments is also evident.
- SMMT revised down its full year forecast of the new car market in 2012 to 1.92 million units, a 1.1% drop on the 1.94 million unit outturn in 2011. The economic outlook remains weak and continues to make the new car market challenging, but new and more efficient products should provide support to volumes as we move forward through 2012. The market is expected to grow to 1.98 million units in 2013.
Click through to download the full January 2012 new car registrations news release and data table.