Belfast Telegraph

New car sales rev past 2009 figures

By Peter Woodman

New car sales sped ahead again last month - rising 10.8% compared with June 2009.

A rise of more than 25% in fleet sales helped new registrations to total 195,226 in June 2010, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

The June figure took the January-June 2010 new-car total to 1,108,662 - a 19.9% rise on the first half of last year when the motor industry was deep in recession.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "The new car market continued to perform above expectations in June.

"The results indicate improved business confidence and a strengthening economic recovery. The industry still expects challenging economic conditions in the second half of the year and Government action to improve access to credit for consumers and businesses will be important in sustaining the momentum of recovery."

June 2010 was the 12th successive month that new registrations have risen, following 15 months of falls.

But although sales were higher than the SMMT forecast, last month's total was still 8.5% below the 1999-2009 average for the month of June.

The SMMT expects sales to dip by the end of this year as the car scrappage scheme - which boosted registrations in the second half of 2009 - has ended.

Last month was a triumph for Vauxhall which ousted Ford as the top-selling manufacturer, with its Astra model knocking the Ford Fiesta off the top of the best- selling model table. The top- selling models in June 2010 were: 1. Vauxhall Astra; 2. Vauxhall Corsa; 3. Ford Fiesta; 4. Ford Focus; 5. Nissan Qashqai; 6. Mini; 7. VW Golf; 8. BMW 3 series; 9. Vauxhall Insignia; 10. VW Polo.

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