Sales of new cars on the increase
New car sales across the UK accelerated again last month — rising 26.4% on the February 2009 total, it was announced today.
But although the February 2010 total of new registrations reached 68,686, this was 1.3% below the February 2008 figure and 12.2% below the average for the month of February from 1999 to 2009.
Announcing the figures today, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the Government’s soon-to-end car scrappage scheme had accounted for 19.6% of the February 2010 new car market.
The figures were boosted by the fact that this time last year the motor industry was suffering a downturn in demand and production.
It was the introduction of the scrappage scheme that eventually reversed a trend which had seen year-on-year sales fall for 15 successive months.
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “Scrappage has generated eight consecutive months of growth in the new car market and we expect its benefits to stretch beyond the scheme’s closure later this month.
“Industry continues to face challenging market conditions, but positive trends in the fleet and business sectors suggest that negative impacts can be minimised. Strengthening business and consumer confidence remains industry's priority. A clear and consistent approach to CO2-based taxation and improved access to affordable credit are essential elements in sustaining recovery in the new car market.”
The SMMT said it expected sales to rise in March 2010 but, with the scrappage scheme ending, new registrations are likely to decline in the second half of this year. Total registrations for 2010 are expected to be 10% down at 1.82 million, the SMMT said.
Sales of new Toyota cars in the UK last month held up reasonably well despite the fact that the Japanese motor giant has had to recall around eight million vehicles worldwide due to a number of problems