The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has updated its full-year 2013 forecast to an 8.4-percent increase in car sales in the United Kingdom to 2.22 million units. The forecast came after the car sales in the UK jumped 12.7 percent in July to over 162,000 units. Car sales in the UK also jumped 10.3 percent in the first seven months of 2013 to 1.325 million units. In a statement, Mike Baunton, SMMT's interim chief executive, attributed that rise in new-car sales in the country to strong business and consumer confidence in July.
He remarked that recent economic indicators point to improving conditions and SMMT’s raised sales forecast underscores how positively they view the rest of 2013. Ford was dominant in the UK in July 2013, with its Ford Fiesta subcompact and Ford Focus compact being the two top-selling models in the month. The Ford models were followed by the Vauxhall Astra and the Volkswagen Golf.
Despite the continued slump in demand for vehicles in Europe, sales in the UK remained strong, making carmakers shift their focus to the country. The UK overtook France in 2012 as the second largest vehicle market, next only to Germany.
Helping sustaining demand in the UK are carmaker’s zero-percent financing and discounting. Industry executives have been expecting the vehicle market in Europe to drop by around 5 percent in 2013 -- its sixth annual decline – no thanks to consumers limiting their spending to get by the region's sovereign-debt crisis. According to industry body ACEA, vehicle registrations dropped 6.7 percent in Europe in the first half of 2013 to 6.44 million vehicles.