New car registrations in “60” plate change month September were 335,246 units, which is down 8.9% from a year ago and the second lowest volume for the month since 1999 when twice yearly registrations were established.
So far this year, new car sales remain 7.82% higher at 1,635,659 units.
“Despite an 8.9% fall in September registrations, demand for new cars has stabilised and will end 2010 slightly up on last year,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “It is important that alongside government’s austerity measures, the comprehensive spending review signals a strong growth agenda to boost consumer and business confidence.”
The market over the past 12 months has risen 14.0%, or over 250,000 units, to 2.11 million new cars. However, over the past three months, demand has fallen 11.0%, or over 65,000 units, reflecting the end of scrappage.
SMMT is to review its registration forecast later this month, but is currently predicting a market of just over two million units in 2010, marginally up on the 2009 outturn. The outlook remains cautious, with the austerity measures likely to unsettle consumer and business confidence. The VAT rise, due in January 2011, could modestly affect the timing of demand towards the end of the year.
Private demand fell again in September, but fleet demand posted solid growth. Diesel and alternatively fuelled cars saw both volume and market share grow in the month.
The Scrappage Incentive Scheme (SIS) had a positive net contribution to the UK new car market, but has caused year-on-year monthly comparisons to be distorted.
The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in September and the year-to-date, though small car demand has waned in recent months.
Top ten best sellers September
|BMW 1 Series||5,896|