Fortunately it is not all doom and gloom for the car finance and retail sectors.
National car dealer group Lookers says it in fact experienced a 2% growth rate in new car sales during the third quarter compared to the same period last year. This was mainly driven by strong sales in the fleet sector.
Group fleet volumes showed an increase of 30% compared to a year ago. Private sales of new cars however, dropped by 10% during the same period.
The company says it is steadily increasing its market share and that new car margins were ahead of budget and thus "satisfactory."
According to a company spokesperson they are satisfied with their performance during the third quarter, especially when taking into account the current uncertain economic conditions and the tough market they are operating in.
The results for the year ending the 31st December 2011 are expected to be in line with company expectations.
Used car sales also increased by 4% during the first nine months of the year, but profit margins came under pressure as a result of weak consumer demand.
Lookers says income from its after-sales department is in line with that of 2010, despite difficult market conditions.
The spokesperson said "This demonstrates the success of our continued investment in technology and procedures to improve customer retention and average sales value per customer visit."
The company's independent parts division managed to perform in line with its budget and the group has plans in place to improve cash flow and the management of working capital.
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