New car registrations declined by 3.5& in July. This is widely ascribed to the sluggish economy and a further drop in consumer confidence. A total of 131,634 units were sold last month.
This was the 13th consecutive month during which car sales showed a decline. Given the countrys poor economic performance, the 3.5% drop in sales was widely anticipated by the market.
It appears that the effect of the scrappage scheme is slowly subsiding and the rate of decline is therefore slowing down.
Figures provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that without fleet purchases the drop in sales would have been much worse. This market segment showed an increase of 2.1% in July. So far this year fleet sales have increased by 3.3% compared to the same period last year.
According to the SMMT their forecast of 1.93 units for the year remains on track. Chief executive Paul Everitt said: ¬Robust demand in the fleet sector helped to bolster weaker private demand.®
He expects the last few months of 2011 to be challenging, but says that sales for the year should reach the target figure nonetheless.
According to the director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association, Sue Robinson, the July decline once again underlines a lack of consumer confidence. She blames declining disposable incomes and increasing household bills for consumers reluctance to expose themselves to new debt.
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