Private demand rose by 5.6% in October and 1.3% year-to-date.
Year to October registrations were up 2.5% to 2,107,312 units.
Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, said: “After a strong September, one of the key months for car buying, we are pleased, if a little surprised, that the growth has continued into October.
“After interest rate rises, and the ongoing concerns within the banking sector, we expected private demand to weaken. However, October figures show private buyers are storming back to the showrooms, and SMMT has revised upwards the forecast for 2007 new car registrations. Interestingly, private buyers appear to be choosing smaller, more fuel-efficient cars with the Vauxhall Corsa topping the list in October, and the Ford Fiesta over 2007 so far.”
Vauxhall's Astra took the best seller slot in October for the third time in five months. Ford's Focus slipped from the top slot for a third successive month, but remains the best seller over the year-to-date.
Most segments recorded strong growth in October, especially the MPV segment - up 2,666 units. Supermini volumes also did well - up three per cent, or 19,813 units, over the year-to-date.
‘The continuing availability of great in-showroom deals, and consumers wanting to downsize to smaller cars have helped new car sales beat current economic trends to an unexpected degree,’ said Sue Robinson, Director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF), commenting on car sales figures for October 2007 announced today (6 November 2007).
Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF), said: "The continuing availability of great in-showroom deals, and consumers wanting to downsize to smaller cars have helped new car sales beat current economic trends to an unexpected degree.
"The overall retail market is suffering, but car sales are actually improving. This is the result of the consumers wanting to reduce motoring costs by moving to smaller vehicles, where much of the retail sales appears to have been generated."