UK new car sales grew by 3.4% in May 2018 with 192,649 new units registered, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The growth follows a substantial 8.5% decline in the previous May when demand was impacted by the dual effects of impending tax changes and the then-upcoming General Election.
Private demand in the month grew by 10.1%, with more than 83,000 cars sold, and offsetting ongoing declines in the business and fleet sectors, down 9.6% and 0.7%. The most popular segments were supermini (up 6.0%), small family (up 1.6%) and dual purpose (up 19.2%), while demand for specialist sports cars also rose, by 12.7%. In addition, the hottest May on record saw a surge in demand for convertibles as drop tops rose 11.7% year on year.
UK new car sales remain behind 2017…
Currently, the overall market is still behind 2017, with new registrations having fallen by 6.8%. Business and fleet sales, in particular, continues to lag, down 16.2% and 7.1% respectively, while demand from private buyers in the first five months is 5.7% behind 2017 levels.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, ‘May’s growth, albeit on the back of large declines last year, is encouraging and suggests the market is now starting to return to a more natural running rate.’
Overall trends are that alternatively fuelled cars, such as hybrid and plug-in cars grew by 36.1% to 11,240 units, accounting for a record 5.8% of the market. Plug-in hybrid cars were the biggest driver of growth, up 72.7%, while hybrids rose 22.6% and zero emission battery electrics grew 18.7%. Registrations of petrol cars also increased, by 23.5%, while diesels are down an eye-watering 23.6%.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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