March 2011 saw the announcement of George Osborne’s budget and with it came the inevitable spending cuts, benefit cuts and tax increases, aimed at decreasing the countries deficit. Despite the 1p cut in fuel duty made, many motorists have complained they haven’t seen the benefit due the rise in price of wholesale fuel.
Due to the current economic climate it will come as no surprise that March 2011 saw a 7.9% decline in sales from this time last year, with 366,101 new 11 plate cars being registered. Despite the decline sales were better than expected, and were actually up 5.9% on last years excluding sales under the scrappage scheme in 2010.
In total sales over quarter one of this year fell 8.7%, with the market forecasted to drop 5% to 1.93 million over the year. Fleet and business volumes however managed a growth against both March and quarter one of last year, depicting an underlying business confidence which should help to stabilise the market over 2011.
So far this year, has seen the lowest average new car CO2 emissions ever! Which are down 3.4% to 140.3g/km. With a rise in diesel sales of 7.9%, and alternatively fuelled cars achieving a 1.4% share of the total market demonstrating that motorists are purchasing more economical vehicles. Not particularly surprising when you take into consideration the ever increasing price of fuel.
SMMT – The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders say; “Despite a dip versus 2010, the market remains on course to meet SMMT’s forecast for the year with motorists buying increasingly fuel efficient and low emitting vehicles across every segment.”
The market is expected to decline further over quarter two before stabilising and recovering in the second half of the year.