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UK new car sales collapse

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has announced that new car sales have fallen by 23% over the last 12 months in the UK. The decline in new car sales is the largest since the early 1990s although the situation looks set to get worse before finally recovering in line with the UK economy. Those who read the press will have seen a number of buying one car and get one free offers which although planted to get the attention of buyers, reflects the difficult situation many car retailers find themselves in.

The SMMT is forecasting full-year sales of 2.15 million new cars in the UK and is hopeful that ongoing interest rate reductions will encourage demand in due course, as will the scrapping of an increase in vehicle excise duty. The industry is in need of any assistance available with more and more car retailers reporting financial difficulties and even the majors starting to cut back on costs.

In hindsight the UK new car market is probably more at risk than many other industries because luxury spending and business vehicle purchases are very often one of the first casualties of an economic slowdown.

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