Belfast Telegraph

Ending of scrappage scheme sees fall in new car purchases

By Peter Woodman

New car sales fell in July 2010 - the first decline for 12 months, it has emerged.

A total of 136,446 new cars were registered last month - a 13.2% drop on the July 2009 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

The decline was partly a result of the ending of the car scrappage scheme - an initiative which boosted sales in the second half of 2009.

Despite the July fall, the SMMT said it expected year-end sales to reach just under 2.02 million - a 1.2% rise on the 2009 total.

Sales for the year so far - January to July - totalled 1.24 million - a 15.1% rise on the recession-hit first seven months of last year.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "A drop in private registrations compared to the scrappage-fuelled months of 2009 was expected and has brought the first market decline for 12 months.

"Subdued consumer confidence and a still fragile economic recovery make the outlook for the remainder of 2010 challenging, but a stronger than expected first half means full-year volumes are still forecast to exceed 2009's total."

Diesel-fuelled cars took a record 50.6% share of the market last month, while sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose 52.6% - giving this segment a 1.4% market share.

The best-selling models in July 2010 were: Ford Fiesta,Vauxhall Astra, Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Focus, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Golf, BMW 3 Series, Vauxhall Insignia, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Zafira.