UK Car Sales Rise for First Time in More Than a Year

It seems that add-ons, such as three years free servicing are starting to have some effect on car sales.  August saw the first increase in 14 months.  It also confirmed the trend towards greener and smaller vehicles.  Industry experts nevertheless warn that the rough ride for the auto industry is far from over.


The number of new cars registered increased by 7.3% in August with a total of 59,346 cars being sold compared to the previous year's 55,463.  This is the first time we have seen an increase since June 2010, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT).


The most popular model remained the Ford Fiesta, with the Opel Corsa in second place, followed by the Ford Focus.


What is really interesting though is that sales in the mini car segment - cars like the Toyota IQ and Vauxhall Agila - increased by an astounding 34.5% in August.  The next size up, the so-called "super-mini" segment, which includes the Fiat 500 and Ford Fiesta, saw an increase of 17.6%.


Strangely enough August is usually not a good month for the motoring trade, since buyers postpone taking up a new car until September, when new registration plates are due.  August usually accounts for not much more than 3% of yearly car sales, while September makes up nearly 17%.


A senior market analyst at IHS Automotive, Colin Couchman, said "While the Focus is still a great selling car, things have shifted to the smaller 'B' segment [the super-mini] like the Polo and Fiesta."

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