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Saturday 06th of December 2008
December 4, 2008

New car sales plummet as consumers cut back


by Kay Murchie
”New

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the economic downturn continues to have a major impact on new car sales.

According to the SMMT, new car registrations suffered their steepest monthly fall for 28 years, with expensive sports cars hit particularly badly. Just over 100,000 new cars were registered in November, said the organisation.

Car sales for November fell by 37%, against the same month last year, while the market for private car sales has also been hit badly, down 45.1% in November.

However, all types of vehicles have suffered but small cars have weathered the downturn slightly better.

Just 39 Aston Martins were sold compared with 142 in November last year - a fall of 72%, while just 251 Alfa Romeos were sold compared to 779 the previous year. Lotus sales fell from 74 to 20, and not one Corvette was sold in November, compared with 4 in November 2007.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said November was another bad month for the industry.

He is calling for urgent help from the Government. Action is now required to ease access to credit and finance, both to support consumers and meet the cash-flow needs of the industry, explained Mr Everitt.

Meanwhile, yesterday the German Association of the Automotive Industry said that the downturn in the German car market is ‘at a pace and magnitude that has never happened before‘.

Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen will have to reduce output, which will affect workers said the organisation.

The group added that German car sales are expected to fall to 2.9 million next year, down from the expected 3.1 million for 2008.

Across the Atlantic in the US, the three major carmakers - General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler are pressing for multi-billion dollar loans to help them survive the challenging economy.

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