The UK car market is forecast by Toyota to slow this year, more than offsetting a strong start underpinned by a final boost provided by a temporary scrappage scheme that has now ended.

“Now the whole market is going back to normal. What is normal? It’s the state of the market before the incentives kicked in,” said Toyota UK Managing Director Miguel Fonseca, speaking to reporters yesterday.

Toyota forecast UK sales of 1.95m this year, slightly down from 2m last year.

“The number of vehicles sold in the first four months were stronger than expected and the last eight months will be slightly below initial expectations. We saw a big distortion because of scrappage,” he said.

The company also said it has reduced fleet sales by around a quarter due to the impact of the strong yen on its margins.

Earlier this month JD Power said that the UK car market looks poised for imminent slowdown after a reasonably solid May result in which the tail end of the scrappage incentive scheme, which expired in March, passed through into registrations.

UK car sales in the first five months of the year reached 913,436 units, some 22% ahead of the same period last year, though the year-on-year growth rate slipped to 13.5% in May.