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SMMT SALES FIGURES: Fleet stays flat but retail buyers boost figures to four-year high

Date: 29 April 2013   |   Author:

The fleet new car registration figures for 2012 showed marginal growth, although there were plenty of movements beneath the headline figures. Paul Barker reports.

The 2012 new car market was the biggest since 2008, with the overall figure for new cars registered rising 5.3% to break back through the two million mark at 2,044,609. 

Within that, fleet registrations are still dominant, rising to a 52.5% share courtesy of 0.6% growth on 2011's fleet result, an increase of 6375 cars. Retail showed a far greater recovery, shooting up by 12.9% to add more than 100,000 cars to the figures, according to the data released to BusinessCar by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

"Overall it was better than we expected, with strong retail growth," Paul Everitt, the outgoing chief executive of the SMMT, explains to BusinessCar. "People that had been buying new cars regularly before found themselves driving cars that were five, six or seven years old and got into the market, along with people that had come through the austerity measures and still had a job, plus there aren't too many places to put your money at the moment."