New car sales in UK up 3.3 percent in April – SMMT image

Sales of new vehicles in UK last month (April) rose by an annual 3.3 percent to 142, 322 units.

Total car sales between January and April were 1.4 percent up on a year earlier, and the SMMT said it was raising its full-year car sales forecast to 1.948 million units – 0.4 percent more than the 1.941 million cars sold last year.

“A strong April new car market has raised confidence across the UK motor industry with registrations increasing 3.1 per cent,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.

But welcome though the April 2012 figures are, they have to be compared with a weak performance in April last year.

Also, total registrations for January-April 2012 are around 18% below the 2007 pre-recession level, but 15% above the low of 2009.

The market share for petrol cars grew in April, although over the first four months of the year diesel and alternatively-fuelled car registrations have shown volume and market share growth.

Small car demand (Mini and Supermini) rose strongly in April, as too did volumes of Dual Purpose segment cars. The Executive and Sports Car markets also rose, showing diverse market growth across vehicle segments.

Again, the Ford Fiesta was the bestselling vehicle.