The UK car industry continued to buck the economic trend today by announcing its highest growth in registrations for 14 months.
Figures from the SMMT showed there were 163,357 new cars registered last month – an increase of 14.8 per cent on April 2012.
The Ford Fiesta was the top selling car, with 8,083 sold in April and 42,392 for the year overall.
Second place went to the Vauxhall Corsa with the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra making up the top five.
Overall registrations for the first four months of 2013 grew by 8.9 per cent to 768,555 as consumers continue to buy new cars.
The figures, described as “surprisingly strong”, have been partly attributed to an early Easter and a busy March which may have pushed registrations into April.
But despite the strong figures, sales are still down by 12 per cent on 2007’s pre-recession total.
Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive, said: “The UK new car market continues to perform surprisingly strongly, with volumes again increasing in April.
“While the headline increase was up almost 15 per cent there were more sales days this year than last.
“The UK continues to perform well ahead of the troubled Eurozone as consumer confidence, regular purchase cycles, attractive finance deals and wider market factors continue to make new car buying favourable for motorists.”
The SMMT has now increased its full-year forecast to 2.106 million units, a three per cent increase on 2012 volumes.
But while the UK continues to buy new cars, sales on the continent are down by by ten per cent with the market reporting 18 consecutive months of falls.
This has hit UK car production, with the SMMT reporting car manufacturing has fallen by 6.3 per cent in March to 126,909 units.