New car sales rise

  • New car registrations rise by 2.6% in October
  • Sales down by 4.5% compared to last year
  • Car industry on track to meet its targets

Despite daily reports of a dire financial climate the UK automotive industry looks fairly resilient with new car sales up by 2.6%.

Sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders published today show that new car registrations rose in October to 134,944 vehicles, the second increase in three months. As a result the market is still on track to hits its predicted 2011 sales target of 1.923 million cars.

Overall car sales are 4.5% down compared on last year but 2010 sales are slightly skewed because of the effects of the scrappage scheme. The Ford Fiesta is still the UK's best-seller this year with the Ford Focus close behind in second spot.

The VW Golf was the best-selling diesel model in October.

Demand for diesel and alternatively fuelled cars was stable during the month, while petrol cars – helped by growth in small car segments – picked up.

The fleet market grew in the month, while the fall in private sales was less pronounced than in previous months.

 “October’s new car market rose 2.6% on last year – a positive result despite the uncertain economic climate,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Vehicle manufacturers and their dealer networks are working hard to offer consumers value for money through improved fuel efficiency, low running costs and innovative finance.”

Registrations in the last three months have increased by 0.9% versus 2010, whilst over the last six months they were down 1.5%. This period of relative stability follows a weak start to the year.

Registrations in October were buoyed by a sharp recovery in the small car markets, with the city car segment up 17.4% and the small hatchback segment up 4.7%. The crossover segment also rose on the back of new model launches such as the Range Rover Evoque.

Best sellers

October

 

 

 

   Year-to-date

  

   

 

1

Fiesta

7,308

 

1

Fiesta

84,506

 

2

Corsa

6,300

 

2

Focus

72,875

 

3

Focus

5,203

 

3

Corsa

67,259

 

4

Golf

4,400

 

4

Golf

54,413

 

5

Astra

4,159

 

5

Astra

53,201

 

6

3-Series

3,664

 

6

Insignia

41,309

 

7

Polo

3,289

 

7

Polo

39,944

 

8

Insignia

2,923

 

8

3-Series

37,314

 

9

Qashqai

2,789

 

9

Qashqai

33,552

 

10

Jazz

2,472

 

10

MINI

30,305