New car sales in the UK in June fell 6.2% year on year to 183,125 units. Year to date volume  was off 7.1% to 1,029,638.

“June new car registrations continued to perform in line with industry expectations with robust demand in the fleet sector and a relatively weak retail market. The balance of demand makes this a tough time for vehicle manufacturers and their dealer networks,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

“Slow, but steady economic growth in the second half of the year should see volumes increase, although the overall market is still expected to be around 1.93m units.”

The SMMT said fleet demand continued to grow, up 2% in June and by 3.4% over the first half of 2011. The pace of slowdown in the private sector had moderated, as the scrappage ccheme’s impact had now all but passed.

Registrations of diesel cars rose by 4% in June and are up by 7.5% over the first six months of 2011. Registrations of superminis led to an improved market share in June, up one percentage point to 36.7%.

The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in June and over the year-to-date. The VW Golf was the best selling diesel model over the first six months of 2011 but was pushed into second place in June by the Vauxhall Insignia.