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Early numbers show May market is running strong

The official sales data won't be out until Monday, but our information already marks May a record month. Provisional new car registrations figures, accurate until May 28, show that month-to-date figures are already up by 1.33 per cent from 154,584 to 156,637 over the same period last year.

And year-to-date figures for the same time are up 7.79 per cent from 1,009,663 to 1,088,331. However, the SMMT is warning that continuous periods of growth are unsustainable. Consequently, the SMMT has revised its full year forecast by 50,000 to 2.4 million units.

“While we can say with confidence that the market this month is robust, it is unrealistic to suggest that it can continue to sustain this amount of growth,” the SMMT says. “The threat of interest rate rises and a cooling of consumer spending could see demand ease later.”

For the moment, however, premium manufacturers in particular continue to do well. As AM went to press, Mercedes-Benz had sold 5173 new cars, while Jaguar sales were up 59.4 per cent on the same period last year on the back of X-type demand.

Skoda, meanhwhile, continues to go from strength to strength. Month on month figures are up 7.36 per cent from 2310 to 2480, taking year- to-date figures to 16,288 - up 7.97 per cent from 15,086 over the same period last year.

However, these figures are provisional and do not include so-called postal votes submitted through the Vehicle Registration Offices rather than the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Automated First Vehicle Registration and Licensing computer system.

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