Year-to-date new car registrations in the UK rose 5.1% to 1,140,363 units in the first five months of 2002, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported.

May was the 20th consecutive month of growth in the UK new car market with 208,669 registrations beating the previous fifth-month record of 199,258 units, set in 1989.

Sales to private buyers rose 13.4% in May to 104,599 units.
“Although the level of growth we’ve seen over the past 20 months cannot last forever, this year is still well on course to be another strong one for new car sales, with registrations expected to top 2.4 million units,” said SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan.

Diesel car volume in May rose 46.6% to 49,692 units, up from 33,891 in May 2001 while market share rose from 17.1% to 23.8% in May. From January to May 2002, 255,637 new diesel cars were registered, up 52.2% from 167,936 for the same period in 2001.

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