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2001 to be a 'record year' for new car registrations

New car dealers have enjoyed the 11th successive month of growth in the registration figures prompting predictions that 2001 will prove to be a record year.

New car registrations rose 6.2% in August to 77,246 units and total registrations are up 5.2% so far in 2001, at 1,519,435 units.

The SMMT forecasts that September registrations are forecast to be in excess of 400,000 units.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: “The August registration figures are more good news for both the industry and the car buyer. Sales to private buyers are soaring as more and more people take advantage of the excellent packages now on offer at their local dealer.

“We expect the sales boom to continue in September. Total registrations will top 400,000 units and although demand is likely to ease in the final quarter, 2001 may yet be a record year.”

Alan Pulham, franchised dealer director of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) agreed: “Private buyers continue to show confidence in buying new cars from franchised dealers at the attractive prices available on the market today. 2001 will undoubtedly prove to be a record year for car sales."

The full year forecast for new car registrations now stands at 2.3 million units. In 1989, registrations hit 2,300,944 units, the highest annual total on record. Sales to private buyers rose 12.5% last month and were up 18.7% on the year to date. 731,159 units have been sold to private buyers so far this year compared to 615,927 in the same period in 2000. Fleet and business registrations also rose in August, by 2.1 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively.

Top 10 registrations August 2001
1. Focus 5,706
2. Corsa 4,292
3. Astra 3,512
4. Megane 3,403
5. Xsara 3,124
6. Mondeo 2,930
7. Fiesta 2,630
8. 206 2,571
9. Clio 2,160
10. Golf 1,983

Top 10 registrations year-to-date
1. Focus 87,464
2. Astra 63,215
3. 206 62,790
4. Fiesta 59,400
5. Mondeo 57,898
6. Corsa 55,888
7. Megane 48,102
8. Clio 46,410
9. Golf 41,861
10. Xsara 41,799.

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