An industry group says the U.K. new-car market is one of the few in the euro zone growing, as consumers return to showrooms enticed by new finance deals and a desire to switch to more fuel-efficient models.
Sportage compact CUV leads Kia to record June, 6-month results.
The U.K. new-car market grows for a 16th straight month in June, rising 13.4% to 214,957 units.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says increasing private demand in the first six months of the year boosted deliveries 10% to 1.16 million units.
SMMT Interim CEO Mike Baunton says the 16 months of growth clearly indicate auto makers are delivering desirable new products with cost savings resulting from the latest fuel-efficiency technology coupled to a variety of competitive finance offers.
“While there are still potential challenges ahead, recent robust growth suggests that the market is on course to perform well ahead of 2012 levels,” Baunton says in a statement.
TheFiesta continued to top the sales charts with 11,332 units in June and 63,040 in the first half.
’s Focus followed with a June result of 9,128 units for a 6-month total of 47,675.
The Vauxhall Corsa was third with 9,128 deliveries in June and 46,147 year-to-date.
Ford remained atop the U.K. new-car market. Its June sales jumped 31.8% to 31,197 units, pushing its first-half total up 8.6% to 163,396. Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director Mark Ovenden says increases across most of the auto maker’s model range raised its share of car sales 2.0 percentage points year-on-year to 14.5% in June.
Its nearest rival,’ Vauxhall subsidiary, saw June sales rise 16.6% to 24,870 units for a 6-month total up 14.4% to 132,640.
The SMMT says the U.K. new-car market is one of the few growing in the euro zone, with consumers returning to showrooms after extended delays, enticed by new finance deals and a desire to switch to more fuel-efficient models.
“Employment growth in the U.K. and accommodating monetary policy has boosted consumer confidence and encouraged buyers to return to the new-car market,” it says.
Motorists switching to more fuel-efficient cars have helped reduce average new-car carbon-dioxide emissions to 129.1 g/km in first-half 2013, down 3.7% from year-ago.
The commercial-vehicle segment saw June sales increase 4.5% to 27,036 units for a first-half total ahead 7.6% to 154,497.
The van segment rose 3.4% to 23,041 units for the month, leaving the 6-month total up 11.2% to 133,177. The much smaller truck segment climbed 11.7% in June to 3,995, but was down 10.4% at midyear to 21,230.
“Looking ahead to the rest of 2013, we expect the van market to remain stable with a return to a more normal replacement cycle sustaining the market,” says Nigel Base, SMMT commercial-vehicle manager.
“For trucks, growth in June could be the first sign of a (third- and fourth-quarter) recovery as buyers pick from late Euro 5 or new Euro 6 models ahead of new Euro-standard (emissions) legislation” taking effect in 2014.
Mercedes-Benz boasted its best-ever six months, with deliveries climbing 14.8% to 53,686 units after June sales rose 18.5% to 9,469 units. The C-Class Coupe, E-Class Coupe, E-Class sedan, CLS-Class and SL-Class led their respective market segments.
“Strong individual performances by key models across our passenger-car and commercial vehicle operations, such as the Citan van, the new E-Class sedan and the Actros, as well as the continued great gains by AMG, gave us a record performance in June and in the second quarter of the year,” Mercedes-Benz U.K. President and CEO Marcus Breitschwerdt says in a statement.
Kia set two U.K. sales records with June sales up 13.1% to 6,742 units for a first-half result up 11% to 37,178, led by the Sportage compact cross/utility vehicle with 10,725 deliveries.
Kia U.K. President and CEO Paul Philpott says he believes the latest results show confidence is returning to the country’s new-car market. The auto maker has set a full-year sales target of 70,000 units this year, up from 66,629 deliveries in 2012.
SEAT’s first-half sales rose 18.6% to a record 22,752 units, putting thesubsidiary on course for a fifth consecutive annual sales increase. The auto maker finished the first half with June sales climbing 29% to a record 4,428.
SEAT U.K. Director Neil Williamson says the sales spike can be attributed in part to the model offensive undertaken since the start of 2012 with the introduction of three new cars – the Mii, Toledo and Leon – and significant revisions to the Ibiza, including a new flagship Ibiza Cupra.