New car sales fall for first time in year

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The Independent Online

New car sales fell in July 2010 - the first decline for 12 months, it was announced today.

A total of 136,446 new cars were registered last month - a 13.2 per cent 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 per cent rise on the 2009 total.

Sales for the year so far - January to July - totalled 1.24 million - a 15.1 per cent 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 per cent share of the market last month, while sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose 52.6 per cent - giving this segment a 1.4 per cent market share.

These were the best-selling models in July 2010:

1. Ford Fiesta

2. Vauxhall Astra

3. Vauxhall Corsa

4. Ford Focus

5. Nissan Qashqai

6. Volkswagen Golf

7. BMW 3 Series

8. Vauxhall Insignia

9. Volkswagen Polo

10.Vauxhall Zafira