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[LONDON] British new car registrations last year reached their highest point since 2004 and the outlook for 2015 is for a similar level of sales, the head of an industry body said on Tuesday.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), told reporters that sales in 2014 had been "incredibly strong, stronger than expected" as Britain's economic recovery boosted confidence among consumers.
Low interest rates, which facilitated attractive financing deals, were also behind the surge in demand, he said.
Hawes declined to give numbers for registrations in 2014 ahead of their official release at 0900 GMT on Wednesday.
While sales in Britain were strong last year, Hawes reiterated that production had been "disappointing" and resembled levels in 2013 due to weak exports to the struggling economies of the euro zone and Russia.
He said he expected a small increase in sales in 2015, when a national election might usher in higher taxes for motorists as the next government turns its attentions to plugging one of Europe's largest budget deficits.