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It was an altogether more positive month for new car sales at Evans Halshaw and other dealerships across the UK, after it was revealed that new car registrations rose for the second time in the past year during October. According to the most recent statistics presented by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the 2.6 per cent growth was due to the monthly sales market rising by 3,449 units to 134,944 vehicles during the month.

The development came as a surprise to the SMMT, which predicted around seven per cent fewer units sold ahead of its forecast for October. However, the organisation still continues to lack positivity similar to that demonstrated when the market was in its prime before the recession; volumes remain around 20 per cent lower than the level recorded in 2007. October is set to cover seven per cent of annual year-end volumes, which is on par with the average recorded between 1999 and 2010.

However, figures continue to climb. Registrations over the last three months have jumped by 0.9 per cent when compared to 2010 figures, ebbing away at a 1.5 per cent fall that is still established over the last six months. This stability is also fighting against a weak start to the year, as registrations over the year-to-date are down by 4.5 per cent; a relatively low 1,688,038 units have been sold.

Nonetheless, there have been some good things going on in the market. There was, in particular, a notably sharp recovery in the small car market – the SMMT revealed that the Supermini segment was up by 17.4 per cent. Meanwhile, the Mini segment jumped by an impressive 4.7 per cent and dual-purpose vehicles also rose in popularity due to a number of new model launches.

The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model in October and, rather unsurprisingly, the year-to-date. On the other hand, the VW Golf was the best-selling diesel model. Diesel and LPG car sales also remained stable, while petrol–powered cars were buoyant due to economical small car models.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “October’s new car market rose 2.6 per cent on last year – a positive result despite the uncertain economic climate. Vehicle manufacturers and their dealer networks are working hard to offer consumers value for money through improved fuel efficiency, low running costs and innovative finance. We expect market conditions to remain challenging and hope the chancellor’s autumn statement later this month will help to boost economic growth and consumer confidence.”

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