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Wednesday 08th of October 2008
October 6, 2008

Slowing economy sends car sales plummeting


by Kay Murchie
”Slowing

More evidence of consumers tightening their purse strings is unveiled today after figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that car sales plummeted 21% in September compared with last year.

September is a major month for car dealers, due to the introduction of new registration plates in August.

However, in the wake of the credit crunch, consumers have continued to cut back on non-essential items. The fall in car sales follows a similar decline in August and, as a result, car sales for the year are down 7.5%.

Sales of some luxury models fell, with purchases of Bentleys down by 48% - at 153 compared with 293 last year, while sales at Land Rover have almost halved to 4,907 from 9,756.

This is the fifth month that car sales have dropped and as a result, the SMMT is calling on the Government to take action to restore confidence

The figures from the SMMT show what a devastating affect the economic slowdown is having on the UK car market. Production is being cut back and last week it was announced that carmakers, Ford and Land Rover, had introduced a four-day working week blaming the tough economic climate for the decision.

Paul Everitt, SMMT’s chief executive, said the Chancellor’s pre-budget report should set out steps to improve demand for new fuel-efficient cars and abolish plans for unfair increases in car tax.

In related news, 600 employees at LSUK, a car parts supplier in Sheffield, were made redundant today.

LSUK had been bought by rival Euro Car Parts (ECP) last week in the hopes that it would be saved. However, a spokesperson for ECP said it was impossible to continue with investment without the required support, which was not forthcoming.

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