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.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
iJobs Money & Business
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...