Car market sees longest growth streak of all time

Peter Spence
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UK car registrations may now level off after 27 months of growth (Source: Getty)

Car registrations have had another cracking month, as the industry motors on to its 27th consecutive month of growth, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

That winning streak for the car industry breaks its previous record, set in the late 1980s. In May alone car registrations increased by 7.7 per cent to 194,032, the highest car registration volumes in the month of May since 2004.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said "the new car market has now grown in every month since March 2012 – the longest period of growth on record and a reflection of the UK’s ever-improving economic conditions".

IHS Global Insight's Howard Archer describes the rise in registrations seen in May as "another very impressive month of car sales". The healthy year-on-year gains now become more notable, says Archer, "as they are now coming from a markedly stronger base." Registrations were up 11.6 year-to-date in May.

SMMT now forecasts an overall rise in registrations of six per cent over the year, with the coming months seeing "some levelling off in growth rates as underlying demand stabilises". Since 2014 began, registrations have now passed the one million mark, to reach a cumulative 1,058,974 in May.

(Source: SMMT)