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Big start for 2003 new vehicle sales

Big start for 2003 new vehicle sales

Following a bumper 2002, in which 83,743 new vehicles were sold (the highest for twelve years), 2003 has started on an even more buoyant note with 7159 new vehicles delivered in the month of January. The first month of the new year saw 5711 new cars sold, the highest since January 1990, and the 1448 new commercial vehicle sales recorded was the highest since January 1984.

“There is no doubt that increased confidence in the new vehicle market is now entrenched,” said Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry Association. “The strong domestic economy is part of it, and the rest is the reduced depreciation that is bringing private buyers back to the new car market.”

January is not normally one of the biggest months of the year for new vehicle sales, but it often provides an indication as to what the rest of the year will bring. “Every other January in the last twenty years in which the new car market has surpassed 5700, the full year has been in excess of 74,000,” said Mr. Kerr. “If this pattern holds we will beat 2002’s record by 10,000 units.”

It’s not just the new vehicle market which had an excellent start to the year. Used imports also had a record for the month of January. “Clearly all sectors of the market are doing well in volume terms,” said Mr. Kerr. “In the case of used imports, however, not only has the need to meet frontal impact standards had absolutely no effect on sales, but there is another factor driving demand. This is the fact that prior to frontal impact the cars being imported were an average of eight years old, meaning that their remaining useful life was very limited. We are now seeing in the numbers the accelerated replacement rate of these short-life vehicles.”

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