UK: New car sales down 7.4 percent image

The April new car market fell by 7.4% to 137, 746 units. This was the 10th successive decline in volumes. However, the market was 1.5% ahead of forecast and on par with the 2010 market with scrappage volumes removed.

“New car registrations in April demonstrated continued stability in the marketplace, with demand remaining lower than in 2010, although slightly ahead of industry expectations,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “The coming months will remain challenging, but we do expect to see a return to growth in the second half of the year.”

• New car registrations in April, at 137,746 units, were down 11,047 units on the 2010 market. If registrations through the scrappage scheme are discounted from the 2010 market, the 2011 outturn is on par with last year’s total.
• Registrations over the first four months of 2011 have fallen 8.5% to 696,082 units. This represents a decline of 64,259 units. During the same four month period in 2010 over 100,000 cars were reportedly registered through the scrappage scheme.

The Ford Fiesta was the top selling car overall in the month and year-to-date. Registrations of small cars have generally fallen, again reflecting the impact of the scrappage scheme. Registrations of dual purpose and MPV segment cars were amongst those showing strong growth in the month.