• UK new car market continues to grow
• Sales of alternative fuelled up by 13 per cent
• Ford is the UK’s most popular manufacturer

Amid a backdrop of economic doom and gloom, the UK car market appears to be bucking the financial trend. The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has reported a rise in new car registrations for October 2012 compared to the same month last year.

New car registrations in the UK rose 12.1% in the UK in October, reaching 151,252 units, showing that Britain is one of the few countries in the EU where there is a strong demand for new cars. Petrol, diesel and alternatively fuelled cars posted strong growth during October, as well as in the year to date, with sales of alternative-fuelled new cars rising by around 2000 units (13 per cent) compared to the same time period in 2011.

Ford has remained the biggest selling make in the UK, showing a 12.25 per cent increase this October compared to the same month last year. For the period January to October, Ford’s overall sales and market share increased as well. For this period in 2012, the manufacturer has sold 245,109 units, compared to 233,104 for January to October last year.

The Ford Fiesta remained Britain’s biggest selling car, with 8,058 finding new homes in October this year and 96,805 overall in 2012. Vauxhall’s Corsa was second, with 6,285 being sold in October and 78,760 this year. Rounding off the top three is the Ford Focus. Ford’s family hatch sold 70,355 new units in 2012 and 5,834 in October alone.

Britain’s new car market has grown in every month this year, apart from February (traditionally a low-volume month). Although the year-to-date performance is still some 16 per cent below the pre-recession 2007 figures, these results show that the new car market is recovering.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “It is encouraging to see the alternatively-fuelled vehicle market performing strongly, up 13% so far this year. Although this sector represents only a small share of the overall market, it is vital that government sustains its consumer incentive programme and maximises the benefits available through the vehicle taxation system.”

By James Richardson

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