Car sales decline not as bad - SMMT

The decline in the number of new cars being sold this year will not be as sharp as predicted, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said.

By the end of 2010 the number of new cars being registered will be around 1.92 million, down 3.6% on last year but a marked difference from the 8.9% slide predicted by the society in January.

The first quarter of 2010 saw better-than-expected sales in the UK car industry.

Sales of new cars in 2011 should increase by 1.7%, to just under 1.96 million, and by 5.4% to 2.06 million by the end of 2012.

Expected van sales in 2010 have been revised up to an increase of 8.6%, to a predicted 202,000 vans being bought, compared with a January sales rise forecast of just 0.7%.

And, compared with the first three months of 2009, the rate of new cars being sold was up 27% - a major influence being the Government's car-scrappage scheme - which has now been closed.

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