British new car sales in May amounted to a record level – the best in a decade for the month – with an increase of 7.7 % to 194,032 units.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the figure was the highest since May 2004 but the automotive trade body contends the rise is likely to cool down slightly in the months to come.
“With SMMT forecasting an overall rise of around 6 percent over the year, the coming months should see some leveling off in growth rates as underlying demand stabilizes,” said SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.
The forecasted sales growth slide comes after the UK posted decreasing results in May – the new car sales grew 18% in March and 8.2% in April. Nevertheless, the increases last month amounted to the country’s 27 consecutive month of growth – the longest period of continuous rise since the SMMT started keeping records – back in 1959.
“Looking ahead over the summer months it will be interesting to see … [if the] growth rate drops down a gear. If there is a slowdown, all eyes will be on manufacturers and the actions they take to try to drive the market forward,” said Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays.
On a model sales basis, the best-selling British car was – as always – the Ford Fiesta subcompact; with a change only for Ford’s other reigning model the Focus, dropping into fourth place – with Volkswagen’s Golf and General Motors’ Vauxhall Corsa in between.
Via Automotive News Europe