New car sales soar in May

Sales of new cars leaped by 7.9% in May 2012 compared to the same period last year, partly buoyed by buyer interest in fuel efficient models.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 162,288 new cars were sold last month, a 7.9% increase in a year on year comparison.

The boost in May sales brings the total number of new car sales this year to 868,166. This is an increase of 2.6% compared to the same period last year.

According to SMMT sales figure for May represented a 23-month high in terms of percentage increase. It attributes this to the 14.3% increase in private sales.

“May’s 7.9% increase in new car registrations is good news for the motor industry and the UK economy,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT’s chief executive.

“The consistent climb in new car registrations during the first five months of the year suggests that confidence is returning, despite financial uncertainty in the eurozone.”

Although the Vauxhall Corsa was the best-selling car in May, the Ford Fiesta proved to be the most popular new car this year, selling 50,507 models in 2012 to date.

Sales of lower emission vehicles, including hybrid petrol-electric, electric-only, and range-extended cars, went up by 31.8% in the same period.

Emerging ‘green’ models that helped boost sales in this area included the electric-powered Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, as well as the range-extended electric-powered cars released by Vauxhall and Chevrolet recently.

“The green sector is growing fast. Every car manufacturer is going to have a hybrid model on its lists by the end of this year, even Ferrari,” SMMT’s Jonathan Visscher told the BBC.

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