Figures released by the UK vehicle manufacturer’s association show that March 2015 holds the 21st century record for the sale of new cars. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recorded the registration of 492,774 new vehicles and this is the highest amount since August 1998.
The figure was given a shot in the arm by the new ‘15’ numberplate. Ford’s perennially popular Fiesta topped the list and was followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and another Ford favourite, the Focus. In fourth and fifth places, the Nissan Qashqai pipped another old-timer, the Volkswagen Golf.
SMMT also noted that compared with the same month for last year, new car sales increased by six per cent. The total number of new cars driven off garage forecourts in the first fiscal quarter of 2015 stood at 734,588 on 31 March.
Commenting on the sales surge, SMMT boss Mike Hawes said it was a shot in the arm for the UK’s car manufacturers. He added that the problem would be continuing the momentum and it was up to the industry and the new government to bolster it with ongoing investment in addition to policies that kept it ahead of the rest of the field.
The SMMT figures for March marked the 37th month in succession car sales have increased. When comparing sales of diesel and petrol powered vehicles, the data revealed preferences are changing. Four per cent more petrol than diesel cars were sold last month than in March 2014. This has reversed a four-year trend in which diesel vehicles outsold petrol ones.