UK motorists are set to benefit from a thriving new car market, the industry claims.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says the number of new car sales reached 2,404,007 in 2007, which was 2.5% up on the previous year and the sixth highest on record.
Diesel-powered cars represented over 40% of the 2007 market, their highest ever share and that growth is expected to continue in 2008.
The SMMT predicts the new car market will dip only slightly in 2008. Its chief executive, Paul Everitt said: ‘Last year, demand for new cars was stronger than many had predicted.
‘There is little sign that the US credit crisis or rising fuel prices have affected demand and we foresee only limited changes through 2008.
‘The UK economy currently remains resilient and the new car market is ultra-competitive. Car makers will continue to fight hard for every sale and consumers will benefit from unprecedented choice and excellent deals.’
The Ford Focus – which has been the best-selling car in the UK every year since 1999 – was once again the most popular model.
Ford was the best selling manufacturer in 2007, although Audi, Honda, Mini and Vauxhall showed some of the most improved performances of the year, according to the SMMT.
The SMMT said the best-selling cars in 2007 were:
1) Ford Focus
2) Vauxhall Astra
3) Ford Fiesta
4) Vauxhall Corsa
5) Volkswagen Golf
6) Peugeot 207
7) BMW 3 Series
8) Renault Megane
9) Renault Clio
10) Vauxhall Vectra