During the year registrations rose 2.5% to 2,404,007 units, surpassing the forecast figure by 90,000 units. Of this, diesel vehicles accounted for a record 40.2%, at 967,436 units, an increase of 7.66% over 2006 figures. Also higher last year were registrations of super-mini and small family cars, up 17,729 and 25,084 units respectively.
"Last year, demand for new cars was stronger than many had predicted," said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) CEO Paul Everitt. "There is little sign that the U.S. credit crisis or rising fuel prices have affected demand and we foresee only limited changes through 2008. The UK economy currently remains resilient and the new car market is ultra-competitive."
According to SMMT figures, average new car CO2 emissions fell 1.4% year on year to 164.9 g/km, with emissions falling by 13.1% in the 10 years since 1997. “This is further evidence of the progress made by car makers in driving down CO2,” commented Everitt. “The industry will continue to invest in the technologies that bring greener cars to market, and is committed to working in partnership with the government and other stakeholders through initiatives like ActOnCO2, to drive home greener motoring messages to our customers.”
The outlook for 2008 registrations is not expected to change dramatically compared to year-end 2007, and a slight decrease in registrations, to 2.34 million units, is forecasted. (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)