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Sales of new cars slowing down as EU referendum looms

By Margaret Canning

Published 07/06/2016

The Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta

Car sales in the province fell by nearly 1% in May, with uncertainty over the EU referendum a possible factor in the slowdown.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recorded Northern Ireland as the only UK country to suffer a fall in sales of new cars last month, compared to May 2015.

But the numbers sold in the year to date, at 28,031, was up 2.5% on the same period in 2015.

During May, there were 4,566 cars driven off Northern Ireland's forecourts.

And the Ford Fiesta was the province's favourite new car in May - as well as claiming the top spot over the year so far.

Economist John Simpson said fears and uncertainty over the fate of the UK economy following the referendum on June 23 was hitting consumer spending.

"People in Northern Ireland are now likely to be slightly cautious until the Brexit debate is resolved," he said.

Ford dealers sold 165 units of the popular Ford Fiesta during May, and have so far sold 1,085 in the year to date.

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