A sign that people, and companies, are feeling a little more confident with their finances was shown yesterday in the report published by the SMMT which showed the UK new car market volumes again increasing in April.
Figures show that new car registrations have risen for the 14th month in a row, by 14.8 per cent to 163,357 units.
Car sales jumped by almost 15% in April compared with the same month last year and are 9% higher in the first four months of 2013. Sales to individuals drove the numbers higher, with private sales up 32% compared with April last year.
The UK continues to perform well ahead of the troubled Eurozone as consumer confidence, regular purchase cycles, attractive finance deals and wider market factors continue to make new car buying favourable for motorists.
Britons have been attracted by bargain deals on new cars, as well as attractive financing packages. Some motorists have also been prompted to buy more fuel efficient cars because of high petrol prices.
That cost-conscious approach was evident in April’s best-selling models, with Ford’s Fiesta, Vauxhall’s Corsa and Ford’s Focus leading the pack.
The SMMT said petrol-fuelled cars have seen their market share climb in the first four months of 2013, supported by increased demand for small cars.
Even though April’s rise was flattered by more sales days this year than last, this was still a robust performance.
However, the automotive sector faces far from easy conditions over the coming months with consumers confronted by significant headwinds and businesses under pressure to contain costs.
A serious concern for the car industry is that consumers could rein in their spending on big-ticket items over the coming months as their purchasing power is squeezed by higher consumer price inflation and muted wage growth. There have also been recent signs that employment is stuttering after growing markedly through 2012.
For more information on the UK automotive sector, see the latest research: UK Automotive Sector