New car sales still rising

Figures show a 7.9% year-on-year increase in new car sales to 162,288 in May
Figures show a 7.9% year-on-year increase in new car sales to 162,288 in May

New car sales rose again last month, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show.

There were 189,514 new registrations in June 2012 - a 3.49 per cent increase on the June 2011 total.

Last month’s purchases took year-so-far sales to 1,057,680 - a 2.72 per cent rise on January-June 2011.

Private sales did well last month, rising 9.8 per cent compared with June 2011, and are up 8.7 per cent for the first half of this year.

Total new car sales for the April-June 2012 period have risen 4.8 per cent and the SMMT reckons year-end sales will reach 1.95 million - just ahead of last year’s 1.94 million total.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “Despite domestic and international economic concerns, UK motorists are responding positively to new products and the latest fuel-efficient technology.

“The industry has performed better than expected in the first half of the year and we will now need to work hard to sustain growth.”

There was a 47.8 per cent rise in sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles last month, while diesel sales also rose and have accounted for 51.2 per cent of total sales in the first half of 2012.

The best-selling models in June 2012 were: 1 Ford Fiesta, 2 Vauxhall Corsa, 3 Ford Focus, 4 Volkswagen Golf, 5 BMW 3 Series, 6 Vauxhall Astra, 7 Mini, 8 Nissan Qashqai, 9 Volkswagen Polo and 10 Fiat 500.