Fleet News

Bullish SMMT predicts record new car sales

NEW car sales this year could reach an all-time record after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revised its full year sales prediction to 2.3 million units.

Registrations soared 11.6% to 173,160 last month, with year-to-date registrations up 5.2% on 2000 to 1,442,188 units, the 10th consecutive month of growth in the market.

The increases prompted SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan, to update the full year prediction from 2.25 million units: 'What these figures tell us is that confidence is king when it comes to buying a new car and 10 months of growth in the market speaks volumes.'

Full year registrations hit 2,300,944 in 1989, the highest on record, but this year's growth is mainly being led by private buyers. In the fleet market, July sales were 11.6% up, but the year-to-date market is down 3.9%. Sales to sub-25-vehicle buyers were down 6.4% last month and 11.3% year-on-year to 128,639.

The Ford Focus continued its unbroken run as best-selling fleet car, now in its 15th month at the top, selling 8,064 units last month. The Ford Mondeo secured second place with 5,724, followed by the Vauxhall Astra (4,652) and the Vauxhall Vectra (3,314).

Ford's total sales were up 7.3% to 18,616, while Vauxhall's were up 11.6% in July to 13,627. Volkswagen jumped to third place with a 45.9% increase in sales, while Renault, Peugeot, Fiat and Toyota recorded a decline in year-on-year sales in July.

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