“The improving new car market, up 3.4% in May with a growth in the private segment of 10.1%, demonstrates solid demand and increased consumer spending in the motor retail sector”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger car registration figures.
New passenger car registrations grew by 3.4% to 192,649 units in the UK in May. Year-to-date, the market is now -6.8% down from last year. Diesel saw a decline of -23.6%, while petrol grew by 23.5%. Positively, registrations of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) rose by 36.1%.
Robinson continued, “We are encouraged by the second consecutive month of growth for the new car market but it is important to remember that we are comparing these figures with a weak May last year which was affected by a number of external factors including the General Election and April’s VED* changes.
“The sustained performance of AFVs, up 36.1% in May, presents an opportunity for franchised dealers to be leaders in this growing segment of the market.
“Going forward, although the market is expected to remain at high levels, we need to be aware of the forthcoming WLTP** test coming into effect in September and we are currently working to improve industry understanding of the regulation.”
Notes to editors:
*The new and more expensive Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) came into effect in April 2017
**Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP): the WLTP will apply to all new car registrations from September 2018 and replace the old New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.