United Kingdom auto sales at record high in 2016

London's busy roads

The amount of new car sales in the UK hit an all-time high in last year. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), stated 2.69 million cars were registered in 2016, 2% higher compared to 2015.

The industry body stated 2016’s development was because of “very strong” customer confidence, low-interest finance offers and the launch of numerous new models.

But the SMMT states this year is unlikely to set another record, with sales expected to decrease by 5-6%.

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes informed such a fall would not represent “a collapse in the market” and sales would still be at traditionally an extremely “high level”.

He stated that 5 successive years of increased sales had actually been sustained by pent-up demand that developed during the economic crisis of the late 2000s.

The record level of registrations of last year does not speak the whole story. Overall it was fleet purchasers that propelled the marketplace to new highs.

Sales to customers suggest an extremely different story.

Following a strong start, private car sales dropped throughout most of the year. December’s 5.5% drop year on year was the ninth monthly decrease in a row.

With assertions that the new car is saturated, higher costs beginning forecourts and financial uncertainty ahead, the market’s projection of a 5% drop in the market this year could prove positive.

The SMMT included that the UK new car market was among the most diverse worldwide, with some 44 brands providing almost 400 different model types.

The most significant selling model was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus.

The SMMT stated diesel and petrol automobiles continued to be without a doubt the most popular fuel types for customers with market share at 47.7% and 49.0% respectively.

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