Europe January sales: UK posts strong 7.6% rise image

As Great Britain could ultimately overcome Germany and become the biggest market for new cars in Europe, the good trend of 2013 continues in January, as the official UK automotive industry group announced sales were up 7.6%.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said British new car registrations reached 154, 562 units and forecast a good year for 2014 as well, as January was the 23rd consecutive month of year-on-year increases. In 2013 new car sales topped those of 2012 by 10.8 %, while the Europe region slumped around 3%.

“The new car market ended 2013 on a high, so it is encouraging to see the January market start the year strongly, rising 7.6%,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “As fuel economy is a major consideration for many motorists, ongoing investment by vehicle manufacturers in innovative, fuel-efficient technology is a key factor in the growing demand for new cars. Looking ahead, the UK automotive industry expects to see moderate, sustainable growth in 2014.”

Selling more than 9,000 units, the biggest seller for the month was Ford’s Fiesta, followed at a distance by Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Corsa who took second and third place.

UK’s car industry also saw a jump in alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs), which managed to outgrow the overall market by a good margin, increasing sales 25% and snatching an improved 1.8% share of the total volumes.