UK: New registrations fall 13% in July
Ford's Fiesta remains the UK's top selling car
New UK car registrations fell 13.2% in July, following 12 successive monthly rises, although the market remains up 15.1% during the first seven months of 2010 compared to 2009.
But despite the end of Britain's scrappage inventive scheme, the Society of Motor Traders and Manufacturers (SMMT) said the 2010 new car market is expected to total two million units or 1.2% more than in the 2009 market.
"A drop in private registrations compared to the scrappage-fuelled months of 2009 was expected and has brought the first market decline for 12 months," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.
"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."
New car registrations remain up 163,004 units, or 15.1%, for the first seven months of 2010. However, the market in July fell by 13.2% or 20,703 units, reflecting in part the aftermath of the scrappage scheme, which had contributed to robust volumes in the previous 12 months.
Alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) and diesel-fuelled cars both achieved record market shares in July, with AFV volumes rising 52.6% to take a 1.4% market share and diesel volumes rose 11.8% to take a market share of 50.6%. Petrol car registrations, which had benefited most from the scrappage scheme, were down sharply.
MPV and dual purpose (SUV) segments increased, accounting for one in eight new cars registered in July, while supermini and mini segment volumes fell heavily.
While stable across the full year, volumes are expected to fall by some 15% for the remainder of 2010, added the SMMT.
It notes the outlook is difficult to predict due to uncertainty over the state of the economy, impact of the increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20% on 1 January next year, levels of pent-up business demand and manufacturers' ability to build on the past growth momentum.
The SMMT said the Ford Fiesta was the best selling UK model in July, as it was during the year-to-date.