Belfast Telegraph

New car sales fall 0.8% in June compared to same month in 2015

New car sales fell by 0.8% in June compared to the same month last year, according to industry figures.

Some 255,766 cars were registered last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Demand for diesel cars fell by 2.1%, while petrol models saw a decline of 0.5%.

The SMMT said the figures were in line with expectations that the market would "stabilise" following a record 2015 and it was too early to tell if the EU referendum has affected sales.

In June the 4.5% decrease in private new car registrations was compensated by an increase of the same percentage for fleet buyers.

Business customers made up less than 4% of the market after falling by 25%.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes noted that demand for new cars in the first half of the year overall grew by 3.2% to a record 1,420,636 registrations.

He said: " It is far too soon to determine whether the referendum result has had an impact on the new car market.

"The first six months saw strong demand at record levels but the market undoubtedly cooled over the second quarter.

"It's important government takes every measure to restore business and economic confidence to avoid the market contracting in the coming months."

Volkswagen car sales saw an 18.9% slide in June as the German manufacturer continued to suffer as a result of the diesel emissions scandal.

The brand had 19,196 registrations compared with 23,670 in the same month last year.

Its year-to-date sales for 2016 are 8.7% down on the same point in 2015.

Volkswagen Group admitted last September that 482,000 of its diesel vehicles in the US were fitted with defeat device software to switch engines to a cleaner mode when they were being tested for emissions.

The Wolfsburg-based company announced that 11 million vehicles were affected worldwide - including almost 1.2 million in the UK.

Other VW brands had mixed results in June.

Year-on-year sales for Audi were up 3.4% and Skoda rose by 11.1%, but Seat registrations were down 15.9%.