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Bumper year ahead for motor industry
The Birmingham Post - United Kingdom; Apr 6, 2002

Tumbling car prices, a record first quarter of new registrations and continued high consumer confidence look set to make 2002 a bumper year for the motor industry.

The bright outlook comes in the wake of figures from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealing 722,718 new vehicles were registered in the UK in the first three months of this year.

The record total represents an increase of more than seven per cent on the previous year, fuelling renewed optimism among car makers.

Coventry-based Jaguar powered ahead of its Midland rivals in growth terms, reporting a 105 per cent rise in new registrations for the quarter, to 7,543 vehicles. The company, which saw registrations up nearly 84 per cent last month alone, received a massive boost from the launch of the Xtype in May 2001.

MG Rover was also ahead, with a 6.2 per cent increase in the quarter and 27,546 new registrations. In March the company was four per cent ahead of the previous year with 17,206 registrations.

Peugeot came next, 4.1 per cent ahead for the quarter, reporting 62,161 new registrations and up nearly nine per cent for March at 36,908.

Land Rover however trailed behind, 16.9 per cent lower for the quarter, with 10,544 new registrations. Last month alone, the figure fell by more than 25 per cent to 6,435 new registrations.

MG Rover claimed its strong performance - and the overall health of the sector - bode well for the future.

'The market is still buoyant and is up year-on-year,' said a spokesman
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