New car sales increase


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The Independent Online

Sales of new cars sped ahead last month, according to official figures today.

There were 142,322 new registrations in April 2012 - a 3.3% rise on the April 2011 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

The April 2012 increase was largely driven by a big rise in private sales which were almost 15% up on the same month last year.

Last month's total new-car sales took the year-to-date figure to 705,878 - a 1.4% rise on the January-April 2011 total.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said today: "A strong April new car market has raised confidence across the UK motor industry.

"We are seeing a steady increase in consumer confidence with growth in private demand, boosted by the arrival of a raft of new products.

"We have increased our 2012 full-year forecast to 1.95 million units, putting the market marginally ahead of 2011, indicating a period of relative stability."

But welcome though the April 2012 figures are, they have to be compared with a weak performance in April last year.

Also, total registrations for January-April 2012 are around 18% below the 2007 pre-recession level, but 15% above the low of 2009.

The market share for petrol cars grew in April 2012, although over the first four months of the year diesel and alternatively-fuelled car registrations have shown volume and market share growth.

Small car demand (mini and supermini) rose strongly in April, as too did volumes of dual-purpose segment cars. The executive and sports car markets also rose.

These were the best-selling models in April 2012:

1. Ford Fiesta

2. Vauxhall Corsa

3. Ford Focus

4. Vauxhall Astra

5. BMW 3 Series

6. Volkswagen Golf

7. Volkswagen Polo

8. Nissan Qashqai

9. Vauxhall Insignia

10.Fiat 500