U-turn for car sales

Posted on 17 Feb 2011 by The Manufacturer

The UK automotive industry experienced a healthy start to 2011, with new registrations up 8.9 per cent in January, compared with the same month last year.

According to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a total of just over 120,000 new UK made cars were sold in January of which just shy of 100,000 were exported – a 24.5 per cent rise on last year.

There was also a 12 per cent rise in the number of engines made in the UK to a total of 216,000.

The figures are even more encouraging considering the Scrappage scheme was still in place in January last year and sales of new cars were on a downward trajectory throughout the second half of 2010. Analysts had expected a further slump in the market in the first six months of this year.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive said Government must now provide support to maintain the industry’s “flying start” to the year.

He said: “Automotive is leading the manufacturing revival, but to ensure this positive trend continues, government must prioritise UK manufacturing, through a supportive tax system, plus sustained investment in skills, R&D and capital equipment. Ahead of the Budget in March, SMMT is urging the Chancellor to provide R&D tax credits for small and large companies, to increase capital allowances and to reflect the sector’s importance through the business rates system.”