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April sales a boost to dealer confidence

New car registrations rose by 7% in April, driven by strong demand in the private sector helping to fuel seven successive months of growth in the new car market.

A total of 179,996 new cars were registered last month.

The UK continues to buck the European trend, where sales fell by an average 4.9% in the first quarter of the year.

Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, said: “Although some people have called for an end to manufacturers' dealer networks, seven consecutive months of growth shows that car buyers have confidence in their local franchise. They know that the most competitive deals are available in the UK and that their local dealer is best placed to offer advice, assistance and aftersales care.”

Top 10 registrations (April 2001):
1. Ford Focus – 11,005
2. Ford Mondeo – 7,384
3. Renault Clio – 7,356
4. Peugeot 206 – 7,258
5. Renault Megane – 6,741
6. Vauxhall Corsa – 6,414
7. Ford Fiesta – 6,326
8. Vauxhall Astra – 6,076
9. Volkswagen Golf – 5,451
10. Fiat Punto – 4,599

Top 10 year-to-date registrations:
1. Ford Focus – 48,949
2. Peugeot 206 – 36,672
3. Vauxhall Astra – 34,761
4. Ford Mondeo – 33,531
5. Ford Fiesta – 31,996
6. Vauxhall Corsa – 29,235
7. Renault Clio – 27,516
8. Renault Megane – 24,649
9. Fiat Punto – 24,468
10. Vauxhall Vectra – 23,067

Private registrations accounted for 48% of total registrations last month compared to 44% in April last year. The forecast for total registrations this year is 2.25m units. Last year 2.22m new cars were registered.

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