New motor sales hit 11-year high

New motor sales hit 11-year high

New car sales last month reached an 11-year high for January, according to industry figures.

Nearly 170,000 new registrations came on to the British market, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports.

These numbers come on the back of a record-breaking year for the UK motoring industry, with some 2.6 million units being sold - an increase of 6.3% on the year before.

The 169,678 motors registered last month represent a 2.9% increase on the previous January.

Ford leads the way with its ever-popular Fiesta again topping the charts with 8,353 sales and the Focus in fourth with 4,285.

The Nissan Qashqai (4,839), Vauxhall Corsa (4,803) and Volkswagen (VW) Golf (3,813) complete the top five.

In the wake of the recent emissions scandal, Volkswagen has seen UK sales fall by 13.9% compared to January of last year.

Its other brands found the fallout similarly unhelpful, with Seat and Skoda registrations dropping by 24.6% and 2.4% respectively.

Audi overcame these conditions, however, to record a 1.4% rise between January 2015 and 2016.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT's chief executive, says January's figures give the motor industry a solid base for the rest of 2016.

He also says he is conditionally looking forward to a stable year not unlike the record-breaking 2015.

This is dependent, however, on consumer confidence staying strong, Mr Hawes added.

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