UK Car Sales: New registrations in September down 0.8 percent image

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, Thursday reported a 0.8% fall in September new car registrations.

The outlook remains uncertain, given weakening economic growth and confidence combined with the volatile, unstable global financial markets.

Sales of petrol-driven cars dropped 7 percent annually, while those of diesel cars moved up 6.1 percent.

The society said 2011 would be a “challenging” year, with an expected full-year sales total of 1.92 million, 5% below 2010.

The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model in both September and the year-to-date. Despite volumes slipping in 2011, Supermini segment cars (such as the Fiesta) still account for the largest proportion of the September market, at 37.8%. Growth was focused in the Lower Medium, Executive, Luxury and Dual Purpose segments in the month.

Car sales are usually boosted in September by a change in vehicle numberplates, and the SMMT said growth in fleet sales supported the market.

Demand from private buyers fell, however, with registrations down 9.3 percent on the year.

The SMMT’s chief executive, Paul Everitt, said a hoped-for recovery in sales had yet to materialise, forcing the adjustment of predictions that vehicle acquisitions would rise by up to 5% in 2012. Instead, they will just edge above the predicted 2011 total of 1.92m units, to 1.96m.

The detailed SMMT figures and tables can be found below. ( September 2011)

UK new car registrations – monthly moving annual running rate – actual and forecast 2008-2012