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New car sales down 2% in June, but dealers say August is true test

By Margaret Canning

Published 07/07/2016

Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta

New car sales here fell by nearly 2% in June compared to the same month last year, according to the latest industry figures.

A total of 5,938 new motors were driven off the province's forecourts during the month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported.

That was down from 6,057 in June a year earlier.

The Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Tucson were Northern Ireland's favourite cars, in the number one and number two positions.

They were the top sellers for both June and 2016 so far.

A spokesman for Ford dealer Ballylisk Car Sales in Tandragee, Co Armagh, said the figures reflected its experience of sales in recent weeks. "But June often is a slower month, and a month when people have holidays on their minds, and a new car and servicing takes a back seat."

But he also claimed it was too early to say if uncertainty in the run-up to the EU referendum had caused people to hold back on new car purchases.

"It's just too soon to say, as June would never be the best month," he added. "August is usually a better indicator. If you have a quieter August, then that's something to think about."

A slight decline in sales of the Volkswagen Golf and Polo suggested local drivers had not fully put the company's diesels emission scandal behind them.

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