Europe: British sales rise 2.4 percent in May image

New car registrations in the United Kingdom last month soared by 2.4 percent over the same period last year to a total of 198,706 units, according to a statement recently issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The British auto industry body reported the growth amounted to a an overall auto market increase of 5.7 percent when considering the first five months of the year, with total deliveries of 1.11 million autos. The SMMT added the sales for the first five months of the year have been consistently lifted by the rising demand for ultra-low emission vehicles, which have jumped fourfold as opposed to the same period last year. The British auto market has been a beacon of light for the European automakers ever since the onset of the Great Recession, with the market being the first to come back from the crisis thanks to easily available and cheap financing. SMMT chief executive officer Mike Hawes added the association now expected “a natural leveling out of the overall new-car market throughout the remainder of 2015.”

The British industry association has previously predicted that new car deliveries for the entire year would climb almost four percent year-over-year, thanks to increased consumer confidence and the continued availability of cheap financing opportunities. Last year, the total UK auto sales amounted to 2.47 million vehicles, jumping nine percent from the figures registered in 2013 and posting the best result in a decade.

Via Automotive News Europe