The plate-change month of September saw another decline in new car sales. Only 332,476 units were registered, down 0.8% compared to the same time last year.
Traditionally September is the second biggest month for the car sales industry with only March usually having higher sales. September sales normally make up nearly 17% of the annual market.
The Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Paul Everitt, had the following comment: "The all-important September market outperformed expectations and is less than 1% below last year at 332,476 units."
He added that the industry expected 2011 to be a difficult year. Sales are nevertheless on track to reach 1.92 million units for the year, which is 5% less than last year.
Meanwhile the SMMT had to revise its forecast for 2012 down to 1.96 million units, which clearly reflects continued sluggishness in Britain's domestic demand and uncertainty in major European markets.
The only market segment that remained strong last month was fleet sales. Private demand dropped 9.3% compared to September last year.
The best selling model both in September and for the year to date was the Ford Fiesta. Supermini cars such as the Fiesta now constitute the largest single segment of the market with 37.8% of sales.
The Director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), Sue Robinson, had this to say about the situation: "Although it is positive to see a rise in fleet car sales volumes, there is still great cause for concern in the retail car market."
Author - Louise Hutchinson
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