The UK’s new car market continued to grow in July, with almost 180,000 new vehicles registered, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed.
Registrations in July were up by 3.2% compared with the same month last year, while overall sales so far in 2015 have surpassed 1.5 million. July marked the 41st consecutive month of growth for the UK’s new car industry, which has been steadily recovering since early 2012.
The SMMT says a slower increase of sales in July suggests the second half of this year may see a slowdown in the rate of growth. Among the top-selling market segments so far this year have been superminis, small family cars and SUVs/crossovers. In the past 10 years, the market for SUV and crossover vehicles has increased by more than 88%.
Sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, including electric vehicles and hybrids, also continued to rise, with 4314 cars sold last month - a rise of 31% on last year.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While more moderate than in recent months, July’s rise in new registrations is good news, and indicative of what we expect for the remainder of 2015. With demand having reached a record high in the first half of the year, we anticipate more stable growth in the coming months."
The head of automotive at global business adviser KPMG, John Leech, said: “The strength of the sterling and improving consumer confidence makes the UK car market attractive to vehicle manufacturers, but the recovering Eurozone markets means that we now forecast muted growth in the second half of 2015.
“It seems more likely that the UK market will undershoot the all-time sales record of 2.58m vehicles set in 2003. We now expect sales of 2.56m in 2015.”