The motor industry is off to a good start this year, with the number of new cars registered in January showing a significant increase.
New findings from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that registrations within the month grew by 6.7 per cent to reach 164,856 units. This is the highest recorded performance in January since 2007 – and the growth was also exceptionally good news as it was the 35th consecutive month in which registration statistics have risen.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "These figures mark an encouraging start to the year after a very strong 2014, with a strikingly robust company car market as businesses take advantage of the attractive finance offers currently available."
The data also showed the number of people registering plug-in vehicles has grown, suggesting that consumers are appreciating having more choice when it comes to purchasing a vehicle that is more cost-effective to run.
A total of 4,598 alternatively-fuelled vehicles were registered in January, which was an increase of 60.8 per cent from last year's 2,859.
Meanwhile, a total of 78,671 petrol vehicles were registered compared to 2014's 72,244 and the number of diesel vehicles increased from 79,459 to 81,587.
The best-selling car of the month was the Ford Fiesta with 8,674 units sold. The Vauxhall Corsa came in second with 6,879 and the Ford Focus was in at third, with 4,824 registrations.
An overall increase in new car purchases is not only significant for the motor industry but also for the UK economy as a whole, with the sector reporting a £64 billion annual turnover. On top of this, the number of people employed within the industry adds up to over 160,000 in manufacturing alone and a further 770,000-plus within the wider supply chain.
Mr Hawes added: "Last year's 9.3 per cent rise in the overall market was fuelled by stronger than expected economic confidence and for 2015 we expect to see some levelling off throughout the year: demand is back to pre-recession levels following record-breaking growth."
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This story was posted by MileageCount, the mileage capture and fleet management experts. Every Mile Counts.