Scottish car sales steering toward six-year high

Sales of new cars in Scotland are expected to continue motoring ahead into the new year after a further rise last month buoyed confidence in the industry.

Picture: Julie Bull
Picture: Julie Bull
Picture: Julie Bull

Experts said it was likely that sales for 2013 would exceed 200,000 units for the first time since 2007.

Figures yesterday revealed that new car registrations totalled 13,994 last month, a 6.1 per cent rise on November 2012. Across the UK, the November increase was slightly higher at 7 per cent but the Scottish rise in the year to date remains stronger – 12.6 per cent versus 9.7 per cent for the remainder of the UK.

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Douglas Robertson, chief executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA), said: “Again we are very pleased with these figures.

“With the total of 194,162 to date we are already well past last year’s total of 181,875 and are now anticipating exceeding 200,000 in the year for the first time since 2007.

“We believe these figures confirm our claim that confidence has returned to the consumer market.”

For the UK as a whole, a total of 159,581 new cars were registered in November. Last month’s figure took the year-so-far total to 2,111,819 – already in excess of the year-end 2012 figure of 2.04 million.

Sales for this year are on course to hit around 2.25 million, which would make this the best year for new registrations since the pre-recession year of 2007, when sales reached 2.4 million.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which compiles the data, said: “With the UK economy looking increasingly positive, we can expect strong underlying demand for new cars to continue into 2014, with volumes set to match or surpass those seen this year.”

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at forecasting group IHS Global Insight, said: “Car manufacturers will be very aware that it is not all plain driving ahead with consumers’ purchasing power squeezed by inflation.”

Alternatively-fuelled vehicle sales have risen 16.4 per cent so far this year but account for as little as 1.4 per cent of the new-car market.



1 Ford Fiesta - 686

2 Vauxhall Corsa - 610

3 Ford Focus - 549

4 Volkswagen Polo - 351

5 Vauxhall Astra - 302

6 Fiat 500 - 293

7 Dacia Sandero - 277

8 Renault Clio - 253

9 Nissan Qashqai - 252

10 Seat Ibiza - 251


1 Ford Fiesta - 8,796

2 Ford Focus - 5,298

3 Vauxhall Astra - 5,077

4 Vauxhall Corsa - 4,958

5 Volkswagen Golf - 4,074

6 Vauxhall Insignia - 3,175

7 Nissan Qashqai - 3,046

8 Fiat 500 - 3,024

9 BMW 3-Series - 2,999

10 Nissan Juke - 2,851

Source: SMMT