New-car sales rise 2.4% in July

Figures show new-car sales have risen for the first time since April last year offering a much-needed boost to the beleaguered motor industry.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 157,149 new cars were registered in July, 2.4% more than the July 2008 figure.

The rise has been linked to the Government's car-scrappage scheme, which was introduced in May offering motorists a £2,000 cash incentive to swap their old car for a brand new model.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "The impact of the scrappage scheme is clear and we are encouraged by the positive impact it has had, increasing new car registrations for the first time since April 2008.

"The industry still faces a long road to recovery and we urge Government to take action to sustain economic recovery through easing access to finance and credit and delivering the loan guarantees set out by the automotive assistance programme."

Despite the rise, new car sales figures for the year so far are down 22.8% compared with the January-July 2008 total, and the July total was still 10% below the average for the month over the last 10 years.

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