Car sales rise again as end of scrappage looms
Friday 05 March 2010
New car sales surged by more than 26 per cent last month as the scrappage scheme generated an eight consecutive month of growth, the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed yesterday.
Some 68,686 new cars were registered in February, a rise of 26.4 per cent on the same month last year, with the scrappage scheme, which is due to close later this month, accounting for almost 20 per cent of the new car market.
Sales to private buyers underpinned the rise, rising by nearly 70 per cent from a year ago to 30,798 last month. Ford's Fiesta and Focus models proved most popular, with more than 3,000 of each being sold as buyers continued to opt for smaller cars. The Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall's Astra and Corsa models saw sales of over 2,000 each last month.
Despite the recall of millions of its cars, Toyota sold slightly more cars in February than a year earlier, but, given the rise in the total number of new cars sold over the month, saw its market share slide to 5 per cent from 5.5 per cent last year.
Despite the strong gains overall, the SMMT remained cautious about the year ahead. It warned: "New car demand will be building up after a sustained period of hold-off, but with economic recovery still fragile and uncertainty over the impact of the Budget in March and a general election in the spring, the outlook for registrations in 2010 is subdued... with an expected decline of almost 10 per cent."
Economists also adopted a "wait-and-see" approach, with IHS Global Insight's Howard Archer pointing out that the end of the scrappage scheme could lead to a sharp decline in sales.
"With the car-scrappage scheme coming to an end in March, and with VAT having risen back up from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent at the beginning of January, there is a very real danger that car sales will fall back markedly after the first quarter," he said, adding that the upside for consumer spending was likely to be limited "for some time to come" as factors such as high unemployment and low earnings growth weigh on sentiment.
"Meanwhile, credit conditions facing consumers are still pretty tight," Mr Archer warned.
The number of new cars registered in February, up 26 per cent on last year.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...