SMMT figures released today show a second consecutive month of growth in new car sales, as registrations in August rose six per cent year-on-year.
The effects of the scrappage scheme helped oversee a 253 per cent rise in city car sales, and a 12 per cent drop in average CO2 emissions of new cars since January 2008.
While Ford leads overall market share with 16 per cent, Hyundai leapfrogged both Ford and Vauxhall to become the UK’s best-selling manufacturer once fleet sales were removed.
2431 of Hyundai’s 3737 sales for August were i10s, and the Korean company’s UK boss expects this will lead to further sales through word of mouth:
“There are now thousands of happy new Hyundai drivers, and these owners’ recommendations will become our best advertising,” said Tony Whitehorn.
The private retail market grew by 51 per cent and now has more market share than fleet sales for 2009, in a reversal of 2008 figures, which shows increased consumer confidence.
Buyers may have been holding off for 59 the plate registrations available in September, a month that generally yields five times as many sales as August. Continued growth could have a significant impact on sales for year-on-year which are still down 21.5 per cent in 2009.
However SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt advised caution:
“The scrappage scheme is having a positive impact but with consumer and business confidence still fragile, there remain significant risks ahead,” he said.