The SMMT’s latest figures for new car registrations for September shows that registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles jumped 82.1 per cent (for year-to-date). Alternatively-fuelled means pure electric, petrol-electric hybrid, and cars running on E85 bioethanol.
In addition, diesel registrations for September were up 6.7 per cent to 167,031 units (in comparison, total year-to-date registrations were up just 2.0 per cent to 1,940,515 units). Diesel registrations rose for a seventh successive month in September and were up by 46,937 units over the first three quarters of the year. The Ford Focus is the best selling diesel model year-to-date, but has been kept off the top slot in each of the past four months. The Ford Mondeo took top honours in September.
“September has traditionally been the strongest month for registrations after March – and this year it has exceeded expectations with 419,290 new cars motoring out of showrooms” said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT Chief Executive.
“With climate change issues at the forefront of everyone’s agenda, it is encouraging to note the rise in uptake of low-carbon vehicles. Motorists are increasingly playing their part in tackling environmental impact and SMMT’s annual Sustainability Report, to be launched on 9 October, will highlight the progress the UK automotive manufacturing sector has made over the last eight years.”
The SMMT is keen to point out that new diesel cars emit 95 per cent less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago and average new car CO2 has been cut by 12 per cent since 1997. In addition, each vehicle made in Britain requires half the energy to produce than it did just five years ago, saving an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Waste to landfill per vehicle produced has also been cut by a factor of four, from 66.4 kg in 2001 to 14.5 kg in 2005.
For the second year in a row the Ford Fiesta was the top seller in September. The Ford Focus was number one over the first nine months of the year, outselling the second placed Astra by 13,001 units or 14.3 per cent. However, the Focus did slip to third in September – its first time outside the top two since April 2000. The MINI entered the top 10 for the month, registering a record 8,764 units in September.