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New car marketNewsDealer ConferenceUsed car analysisNewsRecruitmentdigestDealer profileNew car newsNew car marketBy Tim RoseMotor trade bodies have hailed the success of May's new car market, which bust the forecasts with a double digit growth in private registrations supported by a small uplift in fleet demand.The month ended with a 7.9% increase overall to 162,288 registrations, the strongest rate of growth since the scrappage-fuelled rise in June 2010. The total was more than 6% and 9,000 units above the forecast for May calculated by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.The SMMT said the 12-month running rate now stands at 1.963 million registrations. Recent growth in the market has been supported by private volumes, which have recovered to post an 8.5% year-on-year rise over the first five months of 2012, with a 14.3% increase in May's market.Much of the growth was boosted by new models in the city car segment, such as Volkswagen's Up, which grew by 85.8%. Supermini sales were also strong, led by Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta and Fiat 500. Other segments to report growth included MPV, C-segment and specialist sports cars.The difficulty for dealers is that the margin in small cars is typically thin and the market is extremely competitive at present. One prominent dealer told AM: "Volumes are up, but margin down, and our aftersales absorption is Top 10 models in May by UK regionClick here May 2012new car regs by UK regionClick here But margins remain slim as May sees sales increase by 7.9% to 162,288 unitsPrivate buyers behind best sales growth for two years 'Our aftersales absorption is shot, but what else would you expect with what we have seen retail volume do?'DealerSue Robinson: customers willing to pay if the offer is rightContinues overPaul Everitt: confidence returning despite uncertainty