New car sales showed an encouraging rise in April, prompting the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to revise its 2012 sales forecast upwards.
Last month a total of 142,322 new cars were registered, which represents a year-on-year growth of 3.3 per cent.
Encouraged by the growth in April on the back of a strong March, the SMMT has revised its full-year forecast to 1.95 million units. If that target is hit, it would represent a market growth of 0.4 per cent over 2011.
Some of the growth has been bolstered by a recovery in the private market, which grew 14.8 per cent in April and is up 7.3 per cent in the year-to-date.
“We are seeing a steady increase in consumer confidence with growth in private demand, boosted by the arrival of a raft of new products,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. “SMMT has increased its full year forecast to 1.95 million units, putting the market marginally ahead of 2011, indicating a period of relative stability.”
Contrary to the preceding months, petrol cars increased their share of the market in April. Growth was diverse across the vehicle segments, with the small car, dual-purpose vehicle and excutive/sports car sectors all showing sales increases.