January 2010 new car registration figures

Car market up 29.8 percent in January, despite the recent cold snap and the return of VAT to 17.5 percent. The figures continue to be boosted by the scrappage scheme as it accounted for 17.8 percent of registrations. The market was already down 30.9% in January 2009 on the year before.

· New car registrations rose by 29.8% in January to 145,479 units.
· Market rose for a seventh successive month.
· Scrappage scheme continued to boost market, accounting for 17.8% of sales despite VAT rise
· Outlook constrained, demand expected to fall 9% to 1.82 million units in the full year.

From SMMT:
“The 29.8% increase in January new car registrations provides a better than expected start to 2010 for the UK motor industry,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “Scrappage continues to lift demand successfully and today’s announcement of a continuation of the scheme to the end of March will allow the maximum number of people to benefit from the budget that’s still available.

“Industry expects another difficult year with the availability of finance, consumer confidence and sustaining demand post-scrappage, key to performance in the second half of the year, but signs of recovery in the fleet and business sectors are encouraging,” he concluded.

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