More good news for the UK car industry as June saw 189,514 new cars registered - a rise of 3.5 per cent according to figures released by SMMT.
Figures show new car sales over the first half of the year increased by 2.7 per cent to 1,057,680 units. Registrations rose for their fourth successive month. That still represents 15 per cent below the 2007 outturn, prior to recession, but some 2.5 per cent ahead of average June volumes for the previous three years.
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The biggest winner was the Ford Fiesta, the most popular car sold in June with 9,063 units registered. The Fiesta has sold 59,570 units so far this year.
The Vauxhall Corsa finished runner-up in the best-seller list with 8,800 units registered. The Corsa is still some way behind the Fiesta overall, with 47,147 cars registered over the course of 2012.
Ford's Focus model rounds up the top three in June with 6, 937 cars registered. The biggest surprise though is the appearance of BMW's 3 Series in fifth position, with 5,830 units registered in June.
It's great news for BMW, and fits in with the company's ambitious targets for the rest of the year. BMW's success can be attributed to the launch of its 3 Series saloon and additional changes made post-release.
The saloon appeared in showrooms in April initially from £28,080, with prices reduced to £24,880 after its first month thanks to the introduction the entry-level 116bhp 316d 2.0-litre diesel engine.
Mini came a respectable seventh after registering 4,807 units, due in part to the release of the Mini Roadster. New models helped Mini segment registrations rise 82.5 per cent in June.
Interestingly, despite the company's recent troubles, Saab managed to sell 33 units throughout the course of June. Maserati sold 21 units compared with MG's paltry 19.
"Driven by demand from private buyers, June new car registrations grew 3.5 per cent to push 2012 half year volumes through the one million mark," said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.
"Despite domestic and international economic concerns, UK motorists are responding positively to new products and the latest fuel-efficient technology. The industry has performed better than expected in the first half of the year and we will now need to work hard to sustain growth."
The market is well ahead on initial SMMT forecasts for Q2 - a full 5 per cent up on predictions they made in April. Private demand recovered in the first half of 2012, up 8.7 per cent with June continuing the trend, up 9.8 per cent.
Technological advances also helped average new car CO2 emissions fall 4 per cent to 134.1g/km in first half of 2012. Excellent news for the UK, especially at a time when EU superpowers are arguing amongst themselves about EC emission targets for 2020.
Alternatively-fuelled car registrations posted a 47.8 per cent rise in June, while diesel volumes also rose, pushing their market share over the first half of the year up from 50 per cent a year ago to 51.2 per cent.
Written by John Meadowcroft