The FINANCIAL -- U.K. new car registrations in May rose 2.4%, boosted by a strong rise in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles, as new products, attractive finance deals and low interest rates draw buyers into showrooms, an industry body said on June 4, according to Nasdaq.
"The remarkable growth in demand for plug in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra low emission vehicles on sale increases," U.K. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Chief Executive Officer Mike Hawes said.
The SMMT said 11,842 ultra-low emission vehicles were registered between January and May, compared with just 2,838 in the same period a year earlier. An ultra-low emission vehicle is one that produces 75 grams or less of CO2 per kilometer from the tailpipe. Currently all ULEVs are plug-in vehicles.
"The growth is further evidence of U.K. car buyers' increasing awareness of the significant benefits of driving a ULEV [ultra-low emission vehicles], as they look to reduce their running costs and environmental impact," the SMMT said. Motorists can now choose from a around 20 ULEVs, compared to just six in 2011.
A total of 198,706 new cars were registered in May, compared with 194,032 for the same month in 2014, taking the total for the year to date to 1.12 million, up 5.7% from 1.06 million for the same period in 2014. New car registrations closely mirror sales.
The SMMT currently expects the market to be more stable in 2015 as demand levels off. It projects 1%-3% growth in 2015.
The SMMT said the U.K.'s top two best-selling cars in May were the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus.