SMMT reports drop in new car sales

Latest figures on the motor industry have shown that new care sales fell last month - the first decline for a year.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said there were 136,446 new cars registered in July.

In a statistic that will interest those working in thecar insurance industry, that represents a 13.2% drop compared with the same month in 2009.

According to the SMMT the fall was due to the end of the car scrappage scheme, an initiative introduced in the second half of 2009 to boost car sales.

Despite the fall last month, the SMMT said sales for 2010 were on course to reach just under 2.02 million, a figure 1.2% higher than last year.

Sales for the year so far - January to July - totalled 1.24 million - a 15.1% rise on the recession-hit first seven months of last year.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "Subdued consumer confidence and a still fragile economic recovery make the outlook for the remainder of 2010 challenging, but a stronger than expected first half means full-year volumes are still forecast to exceed 2009's total."

Diesel-fuelled cars took a record 50.6% share of the market last month, while sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose 52.6% - giving this segment a 1.4% market share.

The SMMT study found that the Ford Fiesta was the most popular new car in July, followed by the Vauxhall Astra and Corsa.

Other models featuring in the top 10 list of best selling cars for July included Ford Focus, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Golf, BMW 3 Series, Vauxhall Insignia, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Zafira.

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