January's new car market ended 0.03% ahead of January 2011, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
New car registrations totalled 128,853 units in the first month of 2012.
The month actually saw a 2.7% lift year on year in private registrations. Dealers AM spoke to last month seemed buoyed by carmaker marketing activity which was having an impact.
The SMMT expects the market to remain almost flat in 2012, predicting a 1% drop this year before recovering in 2013.
“The January new car market held firm with 128,853 registrations, marginally up on January 2011, a welcome sign of stability in uncertain economic times,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
“2012 is set to be an exciting year with record numbers of new models coming to market filled with innovative technology that will save the motorist fuel, enhance comfort and further increase levels of safety and security. However, to maintain market stability, government must act decisively and deliver much needed confidence to businesses and consumers.”
January typically accounts for around 7% of annual registrations, ahead of the key March market, which typically represents 18% of the annual market and approximately 65% of volumes registered in quarter one.
For detailed analysis of the monthly car markets visit www.am-online.com/ame