Boom in UK car sales

Image: Arrow Positive Green Car Sales Record

Strong consumer demand has boosted new car sales in the UK with many manufacturers reporting record sales. 2012 sales figures show a 5.3% overall increase on 2011, the largest increase since 2001.

Chief Executive Paul Everitt of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said “More than two million new cars were registered in the UK during 2012, up 5.3 per cent on the previous 12 months and the best result since recession struck in 2008.”

Supplier discounts, offers and incentives are not the only things to have tempted buyers back into showrooms, innovative cars with greatly improved fuel efficiency are now proving much more desirable than older, high emission, gas guzzling models.  Mr Everitt of the SMMT says “Boosted by strong consumer demand, the market grew at its fastest rate for 11 years with innovative, fuel-efficient cars keeping buyers in showrooms.” The shortage of second hand cars is also helping, with elevating prices in the used car market narrowing the gap in price between new and used vehicles, a new car now seems a much more cost effective option.

The best selling new car of 2012 was the Ford Fiesta, of which over 109,000 were sold, the second best seller was the Vauxhall Corsa with more than 89,000 sales and third was the Ford Focus, selling over 83,000.

Top ten UK best selling cars of 2012

1 Ford Fiesta 109,265
2 Vauxhall Corsa 89,434
3 Ford Focus 83,115
4 Vauxhall Astra 63,023
5 VW Golf 62,021
6 Nissan Qashqai 45,675
7 BMW 3 Series 44,521
8 VW Polo 41,901
9 Mercedes C Class 37,261
10 BMW 1 Series 34,488

Despite this strong performance in new car sales, figures are still down 14.9% on the 2007 pre-recession sales of 2.4 million. Global business uncertainty and political unrest are still causing problems elsewhere with EU new car sales figures plunging and supply far outstripping demand. German car maker Volkswagen says that despite sales slowing in Western Europe its group sales achieved a record high last year and that it was optimistic for 2013. VW Chairman Dr Martin Winterkom says “Tough challenges lie ahead. The Volkswagen Group has everything it takes to face these challenges and to play a leading role on world markets”.

With all the gloom and doom reported everywhere lately the UK car sales boom is a very welcome piece of good news indeed, Mr Everitt of the SMMT appears to agree as he says “Looking ahead to 2013, we anticipate the market will hold firm, with manufacturers and dealers working hard to deliver quality and value to motorists.”