Slump in new-car sales continues

New car sales are continuing to suffer amid the ongoing economic crisis, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Last month saw just 100,333 new vehicles registered - a huge 36.8% fall on the November 2007 figure and an echo of similar large falls in the three previous months.

The year-to-date total now stands at 2,023,104 - a 10.7% drop on the figure for January-November 2007.

Although diesel sales achieved a record high of 47% share of the market in November, private sales of all vehicles accounted for just 45.1% of the market.

The top-selling models for November were, in descending order, the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 207, BMW 3 Series, Audi A3 and the Vauxhall Vectra.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "November has been another difficult month for the motor industry and while some consumers may have delayed their purchases to take advantage of the recent VAT reductions, overall demand continues to fall.

"Urgent action is now required to ease access to credit and finance, both to support consumers and meet the cash-flow needs of the industry."

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