The SMMT has published new registrations data that shows the September 2004 new car market at 430,763 units – 2% below last year. However, new registrations in the first nine months of 2004 stand at a record 2,079,956 units, a rise of 0.3% on the same period of last year.
New car registrations have eased back in recent months, following successive rises in UK interest rates.
Commenting on the September new car market, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: “’We need to be clear that demand for new cars remains strong. However, it is inevitable that a plateau would be reached after three record years and it appears that further growth this year is unlikely. The impact of rising interest rates and the effect on consumer demand from a cooling housing market has, no doubt, accelerated the slowdown in the new car market in the last few months.
“In an intensely competitive market, new car buyers can expect some great deals in the next few months and despite modest reductions in volume, we still expect to be close to last year’s record when more than 2.57m new cars were registered in the UK.”
UK-built cars took 17.5 per cent market share in September, down from 21.6 per cent a year ago. Over the year-to-date their market share moved from 20.5 to 18.3 per cent.