The 2010 market rose by 35,847 units to 2,030,846 units, ending 1.8% up on 2009 figures. The fleet market rose by over 10% in 2010, but private volumes slipped following the end of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme. Registrations fell 18.0% in December to 123,817 units.
The market is forecast to decline by 5% in 2011 to 1.93 million units as difficult market conditions continue.
“2010 was a year of recovery for the motor industry with new car registrations up 1.8% on 2009,” said Paul Everitt,
SMMT Chief Executive. “Economic conditions remain extremely challenging, but industry expects demand to strengthen in the second half of the year. Competition in the retail sector will intensify as the industry seeks to re-balance demand across its new and used car and service and repair business. UK motor manufacturing recovered particularly well in 2010 and the outlook is for further steady growth this year.”
Private registrations fell below one million units for only the second time in the past decade, dropping by 5.6% over the full year and by 37.5% in December. Fleet volumes were more resilient and grew by 10.3% over the full year. Business demand also rose in 2010 after a 42.8% rise in December. Fleet volumes are expected to sustain the market in 2011, whilst private demand will fall further – in part reflecting the loss of the scrappage scheme.
UK-built cars outperformed the market, up 17.4% over year-to-date and 7.4% in December. The market share was the highest since 2005.
Diesel penetration also rose to a record 46.1%, in part helped by growth of MPV and dual purpose (SUV) segments, which have a high diesel penetration, as well as the slowdown in petrol car sales post scrappage.
The Ford Fiesta was the best selling new car for a second successive year in 2010 and Ford was again the bestselling brand, whilst in December Vauxhall was the top brand and the Astra was the best selling model.