New UK car sales in September at highest level in five years

MG6 production line The fuel efficiency of many of the new models on offer is proving a draw for buyers says the SMMT

New UK car sales in September hit their highest monthly total for five and a half years as the latest 63-plate attracted buyers.

The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 403,136 new cars were registered in the UK, a rise of 12.1% on the same month in 2012.

September is typically strong as it is one of the two months each year when new registration plates are issued.

Cars made in the UK account for one in seven of the domestic sales.

Return

Ford's Fiesta remains the UK's top selling car, with 20,600 sold in September. Vauxhall's Corsa was in second place with 14,500 vehicles sold.

Car sales have now risen for 19 months in a row.

The SMMT's chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: "The UK market is reflecting growing economic confidence."

"Robust private demand has played a major role in this growth, with customers attracted by exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient new models which offer savings in the cost of ownership."

The SMMT said the growth also reflected the fact buyers were returning to the market after a period of holding off.

Buyers typically tend to replace new cars after three years, but because of economic conditions in recent years may have left that longer.

It is three years since the ending of the vehicle scrappage scheme, which gave people incentives to trade in their old cars. Cars bought under that scheme would now be around three years old.

Promising

Another factor boosting sales was the type of financing deals available, which can lump together payments with servicing and even vehicle excise duty.

Richard Lowe, an analyst at Barclays, said: "Attractive finance packages are offering consumers more clarity on running costs, which even with a more promising economic outlook is an important factor for those on a budget."

But he added that the UK car market was likely to remain strong. "As we head into the quieter months, I suspect we'll see sales hold firm, keeping the UK market zooming ahead of our European counterparts," he said.

The UK car market is the second biggest in Europe after Germany .

So far this year, UK buyers have bought 1.79 million new cars, compared with Germany's 2.22 million.

The gap between the two has shrunk 6% since this time last year.

Daimler record

The figures came as Daimler announced record monthly sales at its Mercedes-Benz arm.

In September sales volumes grew by 15.9% to 142,994 cars.

The company said sales were driven by China, where volumes rose 21% last month.

"Looking at the previous nine months, we can safely say that Mercedes-Benz will post another sales record for 2013," said Joachim Schmidt, head of sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Most popular new car models, Sep 2013

Source: SMMT

1

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

20,629 sales

2

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

14,464 sales

3

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

14,295 sales

4

VW Golf

VW Golf

12,265 sales

5

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra

11,014 sales

6

BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series

10,084 sales

7

BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

8,309 sales

8

Peugeot 208

Peugeot 208

7,953 sales

9

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai

7,771 sales

10

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

7,422 sales

More on This Story

Global Car Industry

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    MANUFACTURING OUTPUT 09:45:
    Chart showing manufacturing output over the last year

    The UK manufacturing industry continued to grow in July but did so at its slowest pace for a year, says analysts Markit. Its purchasing manager's index fell to 55.4 from 57.2 in June. That's still well above the 50-mark, which separates growth from contraction but suggests the industry could be slowing in preparation for higher interest rates.

     
  2.  
    IAG PROFITS 09:25:
    Iberia aeroplanes are parked at Madrid's Barajas T4 airport terminal

    Splitting out the figures British Airways made an operating profit of 327m euros (£260m) compared with an operating loss of 95m euros for Iberia Airlines for the first six months of this year.

     
  3.  
    MARKET UPDATE 09:07:

    European markets are lower ahead of a US jobs report due out later today, which is expected to show 230,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, a decline from the previous month's 280,000. The biggest riser on the FTSE 100 is British Airways and Iberia Airlines owner IAG - up 2.3% to 338.40p - after it swung back into profit in the first half of this year.

    • The FTSE 100 is lower by 0.72% to 6681.69
    • The Dax is down 0.81% to 9330.89
    • The Cac-40 has fallen 0.72% to 4215.46
     
  4.  
    RBS PROFITS 08:52:
    A woman walking past the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland

    Royal Bank of Scotland has released its profits for the first half of 2014 in what can only be described as a quirk of officialdom. The bank was originally planning to publish its results today, but having discovered how good they were got really excited and released them a week early. So it appears there is nothing new to see here.

     
  5.  
    WILLIAM HILL 08:34:
    Betting slip

    William Hill - the high street and online betting chain says "record-breaking World Cup wagering drives second quarter operating profit growth" - but pre-tax profit was down 15% at £222m.

     
  6.  
    IAG SHARES 08:21:

    IAG shares are off to a strong start on the back of the results announcement. They're up 4%.

     
  7.  
    RENTOKIL INITIAL RESULTS 08:19:
    Horrible moth

    Rentokil is a whopping player in the pest control business. "Revenue growth was particularly strong in our Pest Control category," it reveals, "reflecting good growth... supported by improved organic performance and a number of pest control acquisitions." Growth through acquisitions; not scary. Improved organic performance? Does that mean there are more moths, rats, wasps and such for it to kill?

     
  8.  
    HEADLINES
  9.  
    IAG PROFITS 08:05:
    A British Airways Airbus A380

    Spanish cousin Iberia is becoming less of a drag on IAG's overall performance it seems. IAG says Iberia's restructuring continues to have "a positive impact". Last week Iberia agreed a deal with unions "on collective redundancies for pilots and ground staff" that could see a further 1,427 jobs axed. IAG says: "This will create new opportunities for Iberia to enhance its profitability further in the next two or three years."

     
  10.  
    RUSSIA SANCTIONS 07:51:
    Russia adidas shirt

    European companies say sanctions against Russia are already taking their toll, reports the Financial Times. Adidas shares dropped 15% after its profit warning yesterday - it's closing stores in Russia. Also seeing an impact are Volkswagen and Siemens.

     
  11.  
    DIRECT LINE RESULTS 07:41:
    Dog

    Direct Line is the largest motor insurance group in the country. It reports an 8% rise in six month profits to £225.1m. Brands include Churchill, Privilege and the Green Flag roadside recovery service.

     
  12.  
    IAG PROFITS 07:28: BBC Radio 4

    IAG boss Willie Walsh tells Today the airline group is "doing very well" and is on course to deliver its full year guidance. The conversation quickly turns to safety. British Airways and Iberia have been avoiding Ukrainian airspace since March, he says. "We don't look at the cost at all. It's simply a case that we look at whether it is safe to fly over an area or not," he adds. "We don't fly over Libya or Syria." But the airline judges that it is now safe to fly over Iraq.

     
  13.  
    IAG PROFITS

    British Airways and Iberia Airlines owner International Airlines Croup has swung into profit. It has reported pre-tax profits of 155m euros (£123m) for the last six months, compared with a loss of 177m euros a year earlier.

     
  14.  
    RENTOKIL INITIAL RESULTS 07:10:

    Office services business Rentokil Initial said its half year profits rose 38.9% to £66.8m.

     
  15.  
    US ECONOMY 06:59: Radio 5 live

    More from Terry Savage on the US economy. She says the US Federal Reserve policy of quantitative easing "has created all of this money... and all that money has not gone into, so far at least, good paying jobs or homebuilding. It's gone into the stock market and... made the rich a lot richer."

     
  16.  
    PORTUGAL BANK 06:47: BBC Radio 4
    Woman outside BES

    Bill Blain from Mint Partners tells Today Portugal's government has a tough decision to make on BES: "Does it bail it out as 'too big to fail', or does it stand back and let the bank sort itself out? Many want the debt holders to pay the cost of this."

     
  17.  
    TOUGH MUDDER 06:36:
    Man leaping

    The Today programme likes a natter with a company boss of a Friday morning. Today's is Will Dean from Tough Mudder. People pay him £100 to spend time on an obstacle course - jumping, swimming, crawling through mud and so forth. Why? "It's not a race its a challenge. It's about team work over 12 miles. Its a set of individual challenges to test you mentally and physically." Fine.

     
  18.  
    PORTUGAL BANK 06:28: BBC Radio 4

    Shares in Banco Espirito Santo lost 42% yesterday after the bank announced a loss of 3.6bn euros (£2.8bn). Bill Blain from chief strategist at Mint Partners tells Today this is "Deeply concerning for all bankers looking at Europe. It's [Europe] had 450bn of new capital to sort out the relationship between sovereign debt and the banks. What the Banco results show shows is the bank remained a piggy bank for the family".

     
  19.  
    US ECONOMY 06:15: Radio 5 live

    The US releases jobs data later today - GDP figures earlier this week showed the US economy growing strongly. Expectations are that another 230,000 jobs could have been added to the US economy in July and that the unemployment rate may - we'd stress the may here though - have fallen below 6%.

     
  20.  
    US ECONOMY 06:07: Radio 5 live

    US financial expert and businesswoman Terry Savage tells Wake Up to Money the US economic recovery is still difficult to read: "It's kind of a glass half full/half empty kind of thing. Different parts of the economy have picked up, particularly consumer spending on autos and other big items," she says. "It's not what we would call a booming economy . It's just so much better than what we have had for the last few years."

     
  21.  
    06:01: Rebecca Marston Business reporter, BBC News

    In a short while we'll have results from William Hill and British Airways owner IAG trading updates. And we'll have an eye on everything else that's going on. bizlive@bbc.co.uk @bbcbusiness.

     
  22.  
    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning folks. So what's happened overnight? Well the World Trade Organisation has failed to agree a global customs deal.... again. But manufacturing in China grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in July, according to the latest figures.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.