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Wednesday 12th of January 2011
January 10, 2011    

UK motor industry set for a challenging few months

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by Kay Murchie

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is expecting the UK’s motor industry to face a challenging few months amid “difficult conditions”.

The comments from the industry body come shortly after it announced sales of new cars in the UK rose by 1.8% in 2010, 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 Scheme.

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

It was hoped December would see a boost in car sales as consumers looked to beat the VAT hike, which came into effect on 4 January, however, this was not the case.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said 2010 was a “year of recovery” for the industry.

He comments: “Economic conditions remain extremely challenging, but industry expects demand to strengthen in the second half.”

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