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Green cars key to maintaining sales growth, says PwC

According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), a total of 2,264,737 cars were registered last year; up 10.8% on 2012.

Full-year registrations for the fleet sector rose 5.7% from 1,025,501 to 1,084,279 units. Private registrations rose 15.6% but it was actually the sub-25 “business” sector that saw the highest percentage increase, with a rise of 18.0% from 89,668 to 105,836 units.

In response, Phil Harrold, automotive partner, PwC, commented:‘Of the 2.26 million new cars registered in 2013, only 15% were made in the UK, the majority being manufactured in Continental Europe. That said, UK manufacturing has reached a six-year high of 1.5 million vehicles. This is mainly based on the export of premium vehicles, particularly to China and the US.

‘To meet this healthy demand, manufacturers must secure their supply chain. There have already been moves to onshore more component production to reduce risk in this area.

‘Innovation in hybrid and electric vehicles is the key to maintaining future growth. Equally important is innovative work on technology and materials to reduce running costs of existing petrol and diesel vehicles, which still represent the vast majority of the market. It is important to bear in mind that the demand for "green vehicles" is typically lower in our export markets.

‘Increased UK registrations are driven by keen credit deals and the availability of PPI mis-selling payments to fund deposits. Clearly PPI will run its course over the next year but could well be replaced by improved consumer confidence. How long low interest credit will be available is the more vexed question, but it seems apparent that the Bank of England will seek to maintain low interest rates until the recovery is firmly established.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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