New car sales set for big fall

The end of year new car sales figures are expected to be well over 10% down on the 2007 total.

The year-end figures, to be announced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on Wednesday, will include the total new car sales in December 2008 - where the decline is predicted to match the big monthly falls that have been a feature of the SMMT new-car announcements since the late summer.

The number of newly registered vehicles in November 2008 was 36.8% down on the same month in 2007. This represented the biggest monthly fall for 28 years.

This followed falls of 18.6% in August 2008, 21.2% in September and 23.0% in October.

With the economic gloom taking hold, sales are expected to decline further in 2009. Although sales for 2008 passed the two million mark in November 2008, the SMMT has predicted that the 2009 total will dip to around 1.9 million and could fall even more than that.

The UK figures are being announced at a time when the motor industry is looking to the Government to provide a rescue package.

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