UK car sales expected to grow despite New Year drop

UK car sales are expected to grow this year despite the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders results showing a drop in figures for the month of January.

The SMMT survey shows that in January, the British car industry manufactured 128,520 cars, a figure just 0.3% less from the same month’s figures a year earlier.

But the industry remains optimistic, with the growth driven last year by car producers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Mini and Nissan set to repeat itself with all three companies rolling our new models in 2014.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ““UK car manufacturing made a solid start to 2014, matching the strength of January last year. We expect domestic car output to accelerate throughout 2014 as new model introductions reach full volume.”

“Looking further ahead, we anticipate further growth as investments by some of the world’s biggest automotive brands become reality, creating more jobs and huge opportunities for UK-based suppliers.”

The results coincide with accountancy firm KPMG predicting a surge in UK automotive supply chain jobs up until 2017.

John Leech, KPMG’s UK head of Automotive, said: “We are seeing a substantial upsurge of interest by potential investors in the UK automotive supply chain the like of which we haven’t seen for several decades.

“Investors are principally overseas automotive suppliers but we are seeing interest from private equity and companies from closely-related sectors too. All in all, the outlook for the UK car industry looks bright.”

Last month, The UK market for new cars recorded its best performance for five years in 2013 with over 2.26 million vehicles registered, up 10.8% on 2012 and exceeding SMMT’s 2.25 million forecast for the year.