The much derided scrappage scheme in the UK has started to benefit new car registrations for June 09.
Overall new car sales fell by 15.7% in June, however private individual registrations actually increased by approx 4% giving a much needed boost to several carmakers such as Ford, Kia, and Hyundai that have all experienced a growth in new car sales through June.
"We are now beginning to see the positive impact of the scrappage scheme translate into new vehicle registrations," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. "SMMT expects the pace of improvement to increase in the coming months, but we can already see the industry making steady progress on the long road to recovery."
The industry has also seen a marked shift towards smaller, more frugal vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i10 and i20, and Kia Soul.
Ford remained the number marque in the UK with new car sales at 29,803 for June, up 4% against June 08. Hyundai made huge gains in the UK with sales breaking the 5,000 unit barrier at 5,265 for June, a 91% increase against a year ago. Meanwhile Kia, buoyed by the success of its new supermini/crossover the Soul, experiencing a 60% leap in sales over a year ago.
A less rosy picture is painted when looking at some of the historically larger volume sellers; with Vauxhall suffering with a 34% decline in sales, Citroen also saw sales fall 30% down to 5,511 units from 7,973 the year before; things look even worse for Renault with sales plummeting over 70% from 10,132 down to 2,853.
Average new car CO2 emissions fell to 152.3g/km in the first half of 2009, which is below the 158g/km recorded in the full year of 2008.