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13th of September 2010
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September 6, 2010    

New car sales down 17.5%

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by Gill Montia
New car sales down 17.5%

New car sales fell 17.5% in August, compared with a year earlier, to 55,305.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the fleet market continued to recover but private volumes fell away from the levels fuelled by the scrappage scheme, in the second half of 2009.

The decline follows a dip in sales in July and the SMMT expects the pattern to continue through to the end of the year, pointing out that the market for new “60″ plate cars is expected to shrink by around 10% in September, from 367,929 units last year.

However, volumes are up 13.2% to date against last year (1,300,413 units) and the Society is predicting two million registrations for 2010, an increase of 1.2% on 2009.

SMMT chief executive, Pal Everitt, says: “The industry enjoyed a better-than-expected first half of the year and, despite the difficulties, SMMT is forecasting that new car registrations will close just ahead of 2009 figures.”

Last month, diesel-fuelled cars saw their market share reach a new high of 52.6% and the Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model, for both August and the year-to-date.

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