New UK car registrations rose by 8.6% in September, according to the latest figures from UK automotive industry trade organisation The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released on Tuesday.
SMMT data reveals that there were 462,517 new cars registered with a 65-plate in September. This is the 43rd consecutive month of growth in the market and the highest figure on record for September, which is traditionally the time of year when demand is highest. Also, year-to-date total registrations passed two million in September for the first time since 2004.The industry saw an increase in demand across all fuel types, as well as from private, fleet and business buyers.
So far this year, the total number of cars registered amounts to 2,096,886, which is 7.1% higher than at the same point last year.
Registrations of diesel and petrol cars in September increased 4.1% and 12.3% respectively, while alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) saw another strong month with volumes up 21.7%. The SMMT figures put total year-to-date growth at 3.1% for diesel, 9.5% for petrol and 48.7% for AFVs.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented:”September is traditionally one of the year’s biggest months for new car registrations, and last month set an autumn record. With plenty of attractive, affordable deals available on the new 65-plate, Britain’s car buyers – whether private, fleet or business consumers – were busier than ever. The market reached pre-recession levels some time ago, and we anticipate some levelling off in the coming months. It is too early to draw conclusions, but customer demand for diesel remained strong, accounting for one in two cars registered.”
SMMT’s list of best selling models for September 2015 puts the Ford Fiesta at the top, with sales of 22,807; the Vauxhall Corsa was second, with sales of 15,670; the Ford Focus was third, with sales of 14,258; the Volkswagen Golf came fourth, selling 13,603 vehicles; the Volkswagen Polo was fifth, with sales of 11,026; the Nissan Qashqai was sixth on the list, with sales of 10,119; the MINI was in seventh place, with sales of 8,754; the Vauxhall Astra came eighth, with sales of 7,920; the Vauxhall Mokka was placed ninth, with sales of 7,670; and the Fiat 500 came tenth, with sales of 7,460.
According to SMMT, the automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy and accounts for a turnover of over GBP69.5bn turnover and GBP15.5bn value added. The industry employs around 160,000 people directly in manufacturing, as well as more than 799,000 people across the wider automotive industry. Automotive sales account for 11.8% of total UK export of goods and the industry invests GBP2.4bn annually in automotive R&D. More than 70 vehicle models are manufactured by over 30 companies in the UK, which are supported by around 2,500 component providers and some of the world’s most skilled engineers.