For the 18th month in row sales of new cars rose in August on the British market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 65,937 new cars were registered last month, up 10.9% on the same month last year, according to a statement from SMMT. This takes the total of the year so far to 1,391,788 – a 10.4% rise compared with the January-August period last year. Also, car sales are expected to keep rising, after the introduction of the new 63 number plate in September.

The SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Private and fleet buyers are clearly capitalising on attractive deals and new technologies against a backdrop of increasing economic confidence. The August rise bodes well for the new 63 plate.”

The SMMT says the UK automotive industry is also reaping the benefits of people wanting to take advantage of new fuel-efficient models and spending payouts from the PPI debacle.

“Robust car sales in August provide yet more good news on the UK economy,” said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight. In fact, car sales have been robust through 2013, which is in marked contrast to the weakness seen across most of Europe.”

On Wednesday, researchers from credit rating agency Moody’s predicted the UK car market would grow more than expected this year. They expect a 7.6% rise in sales to 2.2m for 2013, rather than the 5% decline previously predicted.

Via BBC, The Telegraph


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