Consumer Trends  

Car sales overtake previous records

May saw a continued growth in car sales, but the rate at which it grew was the largest seen for 23 months
 Car sales enjoy quickest monthly growth for two years

Sales of new cars in the UK accelerated at a faster rate than at any other time over the last two years in May, rising for a third successive month in general.

Compared to May 2011, sales rose 7.9 percent following 162,288 new registrations being made last month. The figures were unveiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It is thought the results were largely triggered by a 14.3 percent growth in private sales.

The SMMT had expected a figure up to six percent lower than the revealed total, and was also boosted by an 86 percent rise in the mini sector. There was also a 31.8 percent rise in sales of alternative vehicles last month too.


The latest results now take 2012’s overall sales performance to 868,166, which is a rise of 2.6 percent on the figure over the same period (January-May) last year. Sales to private motorists have risen a total of 8.5% so far in 2012, also.

May’s sales represent the highest like-for-like sales increase since June 2010, upon the introduction of the car-scrappage scheme.

Since the Government’s introduction of the scheme almost two years ago, sales have show impressive growth, due to the nature of registrations, and especially during a difficult economic climate for consumers, the latest statistics certainly indicate a positive future in the industry.

SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt concurred: "May's increase is good news for the motor industry and the UK economy, particularly the steady growth in demand from private buyers.

"There is no doubt that vehicle manufacturers and their dealer networks are working hard to deliver value for money to motorists, and the consistent climb in new car registrations during the first five months of the year suggests that confidence is returning, despite financial uncertainty in the eurozone."

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