UK New Car Sales Increase During October

The new car market in the UK may be on the road to recovery. October was a good month for new car sales, according to the latest official numbers. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported a 2.6 percent increase in new vehicle registrations from October 2010. During last month, 134,944 new automobiles were registered in the UK.

However, even this increase was not enough to give a substantial boost to annual sales. Sales for 2011 are still well below those of the first ten months of 2010. The end of the car-scrappage scheme has had a severe effect on the numbers. Sales for January through October of this year totaled 1,688,038, which is a 4.5 percent decline from the same period during 2010.

The October 2011 new car sales figure surprised many experts, including those at SMMT. The actual figure was almost seven percent higher than the society forecast. However, it is close to 20 percent lower than the pre-recessionary figure from October 2007. Experts predict that 2011 sales will slightly exceed 1.92 million. In 2010, the figure was 2.03 million, illustrating the benefit of the car scrappage program.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of SMMT, reported that car manufacturers and dealers are doing their best to offer customers the most value for their money. Cars with improved fuel efficiency and low operational costs are available, as are innovative car finance options. He was pleased with the October 2011 sales figure, in light of the current economy.

October new car registrations received a lot of help from the 17.4 percent increase in supermini vehicle sales. Forecasters say that overall 2012 sales should reach 1.96 million. Mr. Everitt expects conditions in the market to remain challenging. He hopes that the upcoming statement from the Chancellor will have a positive effect on consumer confidence and economic growth.