Ford Fiesta

British new car market continues growth record

Ford FiestaThe longest-running period of growth ever seen in the UK new car market continued for another month in February 2015, the SMMT has revealed – making it three full years of growth.

New car registrations were up 12 per cent in February, despite it traditionally being one of the quietest months for new car activity ahead of the March registration plate change.

76,958 new cars were sold, with Ford leading the market by selling 4,096 Fiestas. Volkswagen made a breakthrough though, with the Golf nudging the Vauxhall Corsa down into third place.

Volkswagen sold over 50 per cent more Golf than Ford did with the Focus, which was down in fifth places – behind the ageing Vauxhall Astra.

The Vauxhall Insignia is back in the top 10 new car registrations list too, edging ahead of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class into seventh place.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Three years of continuous growth in the new car market is remarkable and reflects the strong upturn in the confidence of UK car buyers since the recession.

“Registrations of fleet and business cars have outpaced the private market in February, reflecting the increased business confidence across the UK. With most fleet car buyers on a three-year replacement cycle, many of those cars purchased at the beginning of the current growth period are now due for replacement.”

Again, Hawes did sound a note of caution. Over the course of 2015, however, we are expecting a more stable market to emerge given there has already been an extended period of consistent growth.”

The last record in unbroken new car market growth was set back in the late 1980s – a mere 26 months of non-stop expansion…

UK best-selling cars: February 2015

  1. Ford Fiesta (4,096 cars)
  2. Volkswagen Golf (3,177)
  3. Vauxhall Corsa (2,830)
  4. Vauxhall Astra (2,396)
  5. Ford Focus (2,021)
  6. Nissan Qashqai (1,800)
  7. Vauxhall Insignia (1,797)
  8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1,686)
  9. Audi A3 1,609
  10. Fiat 500 (1,436)
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