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Daily Digit: UK car sales reach pre-2008 high

Monday, January 07, 2013 - 02:11

Jan. 7 - New car registrations jumped 3.7% year on year in December in Britain, beating European counterparts where the market fell 9% last year. Joanne Nicholson reports

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3.7 percent is today's daily digit in Europe. It's the increase in brand new car sales in the UK year on year in December. Exports performed well too. Paul Everitt is from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. SOUNDBITE (English) PAUL EVERITT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SMMT, SAYING: "We've seen a significant increase in the UK market for the UK built product. I think some of that is towards the competitiveness of that product because of the exchange rate but also I think there's a lot of new product coming into the market and in the same way we're winning market share in some of the faster growing places like China, Russia and the U.S, they are also pretty popular here in the UK. Ford's Fiesta and Focus models, and Vauxhall's Corsa and Astra were the four top sellers in the UK. The total number of new car sales for 2012 is just over 2 million. It's the highest in the country since the financial crisis took hold in 2008. And it's a rise of 5.3 percent on 2011, the fastest since 2001. But some analysts have warned manufacturers who've set up plants in the UK should be careful not to overestimate demand in 2013. In Europe, the market dropped around 9 percent last year. In France alone, car sales fell 15 percent in December. Pietro Boggia is an analyst at Frost and Sullivan SOUNDBITE (Engilsh) "There are several problems facing European manufacturers like overcapacity, above all, and the shrinking economic power of the middle class. What the european makers do can be divided by volume makers and luxury makers. Luxury makers have always the opportunity to leverage their brand. In emerging markets, the growing power of the economic class in countries like China is keen to spend on luxury brands - the German brands especially." And China's interest has sparked a rise in the share price of the luxury carmaker, Daimler. It followed media reports the country's sovereign wealth fund was looking to buy a stake in the German firm.

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Daily Digit: UK car sales reach pre-2008 high

Monday, January 07, 2013 - 02:11