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United Kingdom auto market hits 2.69m record for 2016

United Kingdom auto market hits 2.69m record for 2016

Forecasts from the SMMT, which gauges opinions from worldwide manufacturers and showroom traders, suggest that new auto sales will fall to as low as 2.54 million this year.

The year closed with a fall in demand in December of 1.1% or 2,055 units overall.

Diesel and petrol cars continued to be by far the most popular fuel types for consumers with market share at 47.7% and 49.0% respectively.

There are now 44 mainstream vehicle brands offering nearly 400 different model types in Britain - and 2017 looks set to be another busy year with almost 70 new models due to arrive in the next 12 months.

However, alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) experienced a strong uplift in demand, up 22.2% across the year to 88,919 registrations for a 3.3% market share.

The SMMT have said this year is unlikely to see another new record, sales are expected to fall by five to six per cent. However, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said that despite post-Brexit worries, the drop was not directly due to the UK's decision to leave the EU.

However the 77,110 registrations of the Corsa remain a strong performance in a year that saw Vauxhall fighting negative publicity resulting from at times misguided fire reports in older models.




Meanwhile weak demand in continental markets has resulted in auto makers shifting vehicles to the United Kingdom for sale.

He commented: "We're talking about a market that is at peak demand, following the sector's resurgence after the recession. If this important sector's growth is to continue, the right trading conditions must be maintained to keep the whole industry internationally competitive".

Britain's government previous year made a pledge to Nissan that the auto industry would retain access to the European market, resulting in the Japanese manufacturer stating that it would continue to invest in a major plant in Sunderland, northeast England.

Consumer spending on cars in the United Kingdom has been buoyed by a number of factors, including a plethora of cheap finance deals on the market, which have made vehicles more affordable.

"While 2016 will go down as a record year for the industry, the true impact of Brexit has yet to play out".

Meanwhile, more than 80% of cars sold in the United Kingdom are imported.

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