Shropshire Star

New car sales rise 1pc in April

New car registrations grew one per cent to 134,274 last month.

The Ford Puma was the UK's top-selling car in April

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said it was the 21st consecutive month of rising sales.

JLR, which has its electric propulsion manufacturing centre at Wolverhampto,n was among those seeing growth.

Jaguar sales were up 92 per cent at 1,329 and Land Rover by 6.6 per cent to 4,298.

MG, which is based at Longbridge but has its cars made abroad, was also up 6.6 per cent to 5,371.

The leading brand was Volkswagen at 13,260 – up 12.7 per cent – with the Ford Puma the top model at 4,339.

Kia sold its 1.5 millionth car in the Uk during April.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The new car market continues to grow even in the quieter months, driven primarily by fleet demand. This is particularly true of the electric vehicle sector, where the absence of government incentives for private buyers is having a marked effect. Although attractive deals on EVs are in place, manufacturers cannot fund the mass market transition single-handedly. Temporarily cutting VAT, treating EVs as fiscally mainstream not luxury vehicles, and taking steps to instil consumer confidence in the chargepoint network will drive the market growth on which Britain’s net zero ambition depends.”

It was the market’s best April since 2021, although uptake was still 16.6 per cent below the pre-pandemic level in what is traditionally a low volume month following the March plate change.

Fleet registrations rose by 18.5 per cent to reach 81,207 – more than six in 10 of all new cars registered in April. Private buyer uptake fell by 17.7 per cent to 50,458.

Electrified vehicles continued to be the main drivers of market expansion. Plug-in hybrids recorded the strongest growth, rising by 22.1 per cent to account for 7.8 per cent of the market

Richard Peberdy, UK head of automotive for KPMG, said: “While April registrations often fall back after a busy new plate month in March, new car registrations are holding steady this year, with fleet buying particularly driving the sales in the new car market.

"While some consumer car purchases are covered under fleet data in the shape of salary sacrifice leasing, consumer new car sales are continuing to be impacted by pressure on household budgets, and a higher cost of finance and insurance. New car sellers are discounting to try and create more consumer growth, whilst also pushing new models coming to market."

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