SALES OF new cars fell by half last month compared with a year ago, according to figures published yesterday that highlighted the impact of the new bi-annual registration system. New car registrations last month totalled 84,040, a 52 per cent fall on the 177,133 sold in February 1998, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Year-to-date registrations are 265,882, down 35 per cent.
The industry said the figures were no cause for panic as they reflected the launch of the new system of registration. British-built cars took 27.3 per cent of the market in February, down from a 32.4 per cent at the same time last year. Ford remained the biggest seller.