New car sales soar past 1m for 2012

New car sales passed the one million mark last month after it was announced that new registrations rose by 3.49% during June, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

There were 189,514 new car registrations last month, bringing the year-so-far sales figure to 1,057,680 - a rise of 2.72% over the six month period between January and June last year.

Private sales experienced the biggest increase in June, with sales soaring by 9.8% on this time last year.

Total new car sales between early April and late June this year grew by 4.8%, prompting the SMMT to forecast that sales will top last year's total of 1.94 million by the end of this year.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, 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."

The SMMT also revealed that diesel sales accounted for 51.2% of the total sales in the first six months of the year, while an increase of 47.8% in alternatively-fuelled vehicles was reported in June.

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