New car sales rise 7.3% in August

New car registrations saw their first increase in more than a year during August as demand from both fleet and private buyers went up, latest figures show.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the number of new cars registered rose 7.3% year-on-year in August to 59,346.

It is the first rise in sales for 13 months, but despite the improvement the SMMT cautioned that the industry continues to face difficult conditions.

Car registrations between January and August were down 6.1% from the same period in 2010.

The report said the latest growth was driven primarily by superminis which accounted for more than a third of the total sales during the month after seeing a 17.6% year-on-year rise.

The best-selling model in August was Ford's Fiesta with 3,213 units sold, with the company's Focus in third place with 2,858 registrations.

Vauxhall had two models in the top 10, with Corsa (2,901) in second and Astra (1,613) in sixth.

The VW Golf (1,995) and BMW 3 Series (1,739) were in fourth and fifth place respectively, while the VW Passat (1,526) in seventh was followed by VW Polo (1,467), Nissan Qashqai (1,312) and Audi A3 (1,125).

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