UK sales rise the fastest since 2005 image

Great Britain has been for many months the brighter spot when it came to the battered European automotive industry, and the trend keeps getting momentum.

British new car sales in the January to June period have been the best since 2005, reaching half-year figures of almost 1.3 million autos, a growth of 10.6% over the same time frame last year. Still, industry figures showed demand could be leveling off for the rest of the year, as registrations in June slowed down their increase to 6.2% to June 2013, totaling 228,291 units, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“The overall market has risen faster than we were expecting but, after a bumper March, growth is showing signs of stabilizing around our forecast level,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“One concern for car manufacturers is that current muted earnings growth threatens to be a constraint for car sales,” added Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight.

According to numbers from SMMT, the new car sales have been toned down from April’s rise of 8.2% and May’s increase of 7.7%. Still, the industry body said the UK market could still reach its forecasted 2.4 million cars for the whole year, up 6% from 2013.

Via Automotive News Europe