2012 marks an end to slack in new car sales

Ben Southwood
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SALES appeared to have put the worst days of the credit crunch well behind them in 2012, as an upbeat December capped off an impressive year for the market.

New car registrations across the whole of 2012 were 2,044,609, up 5.3 per cent of 2011, and the highest since 2008, according to data released yesterday. In fact, this yearly jump was the biggest for 11 years, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), who prepared the data, said. December’s 123,557 sales were 3.7 per cent up on the same month a year before.

And cars were getting greener and greener, on average creating just 133.1g of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven, a full 22.7 per cent down on ten years ago.

But the news for the industry was not all good. New car sales were just 85.1 per cent of where they were in 2007, five years before.

Amongst the manufacturers, Ford enjoyed continued dominance – the Fiesta was the UK’s favourite new car for the fourth year in a row, with 109,265 sales in total. Ford’s Focus, with 83,115 registrations during 2012, took third place. Vauxhall took second place with 89,434 sales of its Corsa and fourth with 63,023 sales of its Astra. The Volkswagen Gold rounded out the top five.