A 26th consecutive month of growth saw U.K. new-car sales rise 6.6% year-on-year in July to 172,907 units.

With the market up 10.1% on the year to 1,460,172 units, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders raises its full-year forecast to 2.45 million units, an 8.1% improvement on last year’s 2,264,737.

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes says the new-car market is extending its record period of growth as confident consumers take advantage of an array of new products and attractive financing on the latest fuel-efficient new cars.

“However, the more moderate growth of the last three months shows that overall demand is beginning to stabilize,” Hawes says in a statement.

Demand for small alternatively fueled vehicles continued growing, with July deliveries jumping 35.4% to 3,292 units for a 1.9% market share. After seven months, the segment was up 49.1% to 26,629 units for 1.8% of the new-car market.

Mitsubishi in particular benefited from the growing interest in small vehicles not exclusively powered by conventional engines. Deliveries spiked 197.5% in July to 1,181 units for a year-to-date result ahead 32% to 7,181.

The Japanese automaker says the arrival of the Outlander plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle is augmenting its sales success. The car is attracting interest because of its fuel consumption of 148 mpg (0.2 L/100 km) and low carbon-dioxide emissions of 44 g/km, it says.

“In July, (the) Outlander PHEV outsold all other vehicles that qualify for the government’s plug-in car grant, accounting for 43% of successful applications,” Mitsubishi says in a statement.

The Outlander’s addition to the lineup has boosted brand awareness and sales of all Mitsubishi models, says Toby Marshall, director-sales and marketing.

Ford’s Fiesta and Focus siblings, however, continued to dominate the U.K. new-car market.

The Fiesta was the July sales leader with 8,854 units and a 7-month total of 79,007. The Focus sold 6,013 units for the month and its year-to-date tally rose to 50,767.

General Motors subsidiary Vauxhall’s Corsa followed with 5,457 units for the month and 47,752 year-to-date.

Ford’s total new-car sales slipped 7.6% in July to 23,647 units, but its 197,201 deliveries on the year were up 4.3% from 188,993 in like-2013.

“Ford is in its 38th consecutive year of car-sales leadership and its 49th consecutive year for commercial vehicles,” Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director Mark Ovenden says in a statement.

U.K. commercial-vehicle deliveries advanced 25.8% in July to 27,938 units and after seven months were up 13.1% to 199,906.

The van segment grew 34.5% in July to 24,764 units and was up 18.9% year-to-date to 180,296. Truck deliveries, still affected by a surge of sales at the end of 2013 due to the introduction of Euro-6 emissions regulations, fell 16.3% in July to 3,174 units and were down 21.9% year-to-date to 19,610.

Hawes says the CV market delivered another strong month overall, driven by an impressive number of van registrations. “This reflects growing business confidence in the economy and the variety of highly capable and efficient vans on the market,” he says.

Ford’s Transit and Transit Custom were the U.K.’s top-selling CVs both in July and year-to-date. The Transit is the U.K.’s fifth best-selling nameplate, ahead of many cars.

The blue oval’s CV deliveries of 7,127 units in July gave it a 24.9% market share. Year-to-date sales of 46,223 units were good for a 22.7% share.