UK car demand rises 11.5 percent in January - SMMT

LONDON Wed Feb 6, 2013 9:56am GMT

Toyota cars are lined up for sale on the forecourt of a Toyota dealer in Purley, south London, October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Toyota cars are lined up for sale on the forecourt of a Toyota dealer in Purley, south London, October 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - New car registrations in Britain rose 11.5 percent on the year in January as private demand surged, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Wednesday.

"Lifted by a solid rise in private demand, the new car market posted its 11th successive month of growth with motorists attracted to forecourts by the latest models and competitive deals on offer," said SMMT Interim Chief Executive Mike Baunton.

"Building on a strong performance in 2012 ... we anticipate a modest rise over the year, followed by further growth in 2014," he added.

There were 143,643 new registrations last month, marking a third consecutive month of double-digit growth despite consumers facing an extended squeeze on their finances.

"Despite January's encouraging start to 2013 after a resilient performance in 2012, the motor industry currently faces far from easy conditions with consumers still confronted by significant headwinds and businesses under pressure to contain costs," said IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by William Schomberg)

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