LONDON (Reuters) -- UK new-car registrations rose by 6.7 percent in January to their highest level for that month since 2007, but industry watchers expect growth to slow down during the rest of the year.
Sales in January were 164,856, compared to 154,562 in January 2014, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement today.
"For 2015, we expect to see some leveling off throughout the year. Demand is back to pre-recession levels following record-breaking growth," said Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO.
Sales in Europe’s No. 2 market after Germany rose by nearly 10 percent in 2014 to hit their highest level in a decade, the SMMT said last month.
“Attractive finance offers from car manufacturers and rising consumer confidence continues to power the UK new car market. The market should remain strong throughout 2015," John Leech, KPMG’s UK Head of Automotive, said today, adding that the weak euro should also keep car prices low.
All of Europe’s other top markets reported sales increases last month. Registrations in Germany rose 2.6 percent to 211,337, while France reported an increase of 5.9 percent to 132,824.
Registrations in Italy were up 11 percent to 131,385. Sales in Spain jumped 28 percent to 68,118.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report