By Maximilian Clarke

The UK’s automotive industry continues to defy underlying economic uncertainty, with a 10% rise in car and van registrations in October.

This brings the yearly increase to 20%, as commercial vehicles registrations in particular remain strong, figures from the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have confirmed.

“The commercial vehicle market remains buoyant with October registrations up by more than 10% and year to date up by nearly 20%,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.

“Efficiency is a key driver as operators are investing in the latest models across almost every market sector to reap the rewards of greater load carrying ability and fuel economy. These remain challenging economic conditions and we are looking to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement later this month to set out measures to boost growth and steady business confidence.”

Responding to the news, Richard Lowe, Head of Retail and Wholesale at Barclays Corporate comments:

“Today’s rise highlights the hard work manufacturers and dealers have put in to manage supply and demand as well as the effectiveness of the incentives they’ve offered customers. Such efforts have helped to stabilise the market in recent months, but trading remains difficult.

“From an industry perspective we are starting to see consolidation, for example with Benfield’s recent acquisition of Colebrook and Burgess, and this should offer buyers further confidence in the stability of the market”.

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