August car sales up 10.9 percent on year

nissanleaf2gThe recovery may be slow and the situation on the job market is still pretty grim, but people and businesses are buying quite a few new cars. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 65,937 new vehicles were registered last month in Britain.

This represents a 10.9 percent increase on August 2012 and total sales this year were 1,391,788, or 10.4 percent in the first eight months of 2012. Needless to say, this is very reassuring as it indicates people and businesses are growing more confident and they are willing to splash out plenty of cash on new vehicles.

Much of the growth appears to be coming from businesses, who didn’t invest much over the last few years. However, now that economic confidence is back, they are refreshing their fleets. The refresh is long overdue and SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes reckons fleet buyers are capitalising on attractive deals and new technologies.

The economic malaise started almost six years ago and many potential buyers were putting off their purchases for years. The auto industry also tried to adapt to the new climate, by offering better deals, extended warranties and even cheaper models designed specifically against a recession backdrop.

In terms of technology, EURO 5 engines with much lower CO2 emissions are standard now, which wasn’t the case in 2008. Many carmakers have extensively overhauled their powertrains for superior efficiency. Diesel engines are as efficient as ever, but downsized turbo-charged petrol engines were perhaps the biggest game changer, as they deliver much better efficiency and more torque than traditional, atmospheric petrol burners. Thanks to new alloys and a bigger emphasis on efficiency, new cars tend to be quite a bit lighter than their predecessors.

Superior efficiency, clever CO2 tax breaks and relatively long warranties can save quite a bit of money in the long run. Businesses and average people have come to appreciate this fact.