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October 6, 2010    

UK car sales continue downward trend

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by Kay Murchie

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has today announced UK car sales fell by 8.9% in September compared with the same month in 2009.

It represents the third consecutive monthly fall but was expected due to the withdrawal of the scrappage scheme. It follows a 17.5% fall in August.

The SMMT said the number of new cars sold in the month was 335,246.

The Society has previously warned that the latter half of the year would be challenging and sales for the full year are likely to fall as a result of the end of the ’cash for bangers’ scheme.

The £400 million initiative, which was launched in May 2009 to boost the ailing car industry, paid drivers of cars at least 10 years old £2,000 off the price of a new vehicle.

However, the scheme ended on 31 March.

The SMMT said that, with the effects of scrappage excluded, the September 2010 total was actually 16.3% higher than September 2009 levels, and equal to September 2008.

The SMMT also pointed out that the forthcoming VAT increase, scheduled for January next year, could boost sales towards the end of the year.

For the January - September period, the new car market has totalled 1,635,659 - this is a 7.8% rise on the same period in 2009, the SMMT said.

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