UK Car Registrations September 2012
(Thursday 4 October 2012)
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reports that new car registrations in September - one of the busiest months of the year due to the number plate change - were higher than expected. The forecast was for around 333,000 units, but the actual figure was 359,612, or 8.2% higher than in September 2011.
"Although the economic outlook remains challenging," commented SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt, "we are starting to see a tentative return of consumer confidence as motorists explore new products and the latest fuel-efficient technologies."
Almost inevitably, the Ford Fiesta was the most-registered car of the month (18,651 units), followed by the Vauxhall Corsa (17,089) and Ford Focus (13,837). Those are also the top three players, in that order, for the year to date, followed by the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Nissan Qashqai, BMW 3-Series, Volkswagen Polo, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Fiat 500.
The most-improved manufacturers for the year to date, compared with their performances in the first three months of 2011, are Chrysler, MG and SsangYong, all of which have practically reinvented themselves recently. Of the brands that have not done this the biggest grower is Infiniti (66.96% up on last year), followed by Land Rover (35.43%), Porsche (29.63%), Suzuki (23.67%) and Kia (22.30%).
At the other end of the scale, Lotus, Proton, Renault, Mitsubishi and Alfa Romeo are all down by 35% or more. Daihatsu, which no longer has a UK importer, has completely disappeared, though oddly enough Saab hasn't quite gone yet, since eight cars were registered last month.