New Car Sales Growth in Ireland and the UK

Vehicle History Check expert Cartell.ie reported earlier this week that in Q1 2015 there have been 75,655 new vehicles sold which represents a strong 32% increase over Q1 2014. We mustn’t forget that new vehicle sales are coming off a low base and this impacts significantly on the figures. Still, confidence is clearly up on last year – and this is a welcome development. The UK market has enjoyed its 37th month of successive growth in March. The all-important first quarter ended in the UK with registrations reportedly up 6% year-on-year according to SMMT figures. It is reported that 492,774 cars were registered in March 2015 – the best month since the twice-yearly number plate changes were introduced in 1999.

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The market analyst attributed the rise to new products and attractive finance packages – underpinned by low interest rates –  and growth in the fleet sector which recorded 11.6% year-on-year growth. This, says SMMT, “reflected the economic confidence currently felt by UK companies”. Motortrader – commenting on the SMMT figures – mentioned the “astonishing carmaker supported PCP schemes, including one for the Hyundai i10 for just £69 a month.”

The UK market surpassed pre-recession levels around seven months ago, which in turn helped bolster the economy and drive it out of recession. That growth, supported by domestic manufacturing, has attracted more than £14 billion of investment since 2011, creating almost 30,000 additional jobs in the UK.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

The best month this century for new car registrations is a welcome boost for the UK’s thriving automotive sector. The challenge for a new government and industry will be to maintain this momentum and to strengthen Britain’s manufacturing capabilities through continued investment, innovation and policies which maintain our global competitiveness. Whatever the general election result, the new government must keep up the commitment to the sector which is delivering at home and abroad.”

In terms of the overall picture the SMMT still cautiously expects registrations to close the year on a par with 2014 while analyst KPMG is predicting growth of 4%.