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Monday 10th of January 2011
January 7, 2011    

New car sales up 1.8%

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by Gill Montia
New car sales up 1.8%

Sales of new cars in the UK rose by 1.8% in 2010, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has reported, although volumes were still at their second-lowest in the past decade and almost 375,000 units short of 2007 levels.

At 2,030,846 units, total sales were up by 35,847 on 2009, with the fleet market growing 10% as private volumes slipped following the end of the Government’s Scrappage Incentive Scheme.

In fact, the scheme resulted in 2010 becoming “a tale of two halves”, with volumes up 19.9% in the first half of the year, but falling 13.8% in the second half.

Furthermore, private registrations fell below one million units for only the second time in the past decade, dropping by 5.6% over the year.

More positively, UK-built cars outperformed the market, with market share at 17.4%, the highest level since 2005.

In 2010, the Ford Fiesta was the best selling new car for a second successive year, and Ford was again the best selling brand.

Looking ahead, the Society is forecasting a 5% decline in sales for 2011, as difficult market conditions continue.

SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt, comments: “Competition in the retail sector will intensify as the industry seeks to re-balance demand across its new and used car and service and repair business.”

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