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SMMT revises 2003 market forecast - upwards

The SMMT has revised its 2003 UK car market forecast upwards to 2.45 million units, despite April registrations slowing 7 per cent year on year to 194,312 units.

Superminis accounted for 35.3 per cent of new cars registered in April, while 4x4s accounted for 5.7 per cent, and increased in volume by 10.4 per cent.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan says: “Following two best-ever years, the market was expected to cool in 2003 but with year-to-date registrations down only 2.6 per cent, the year-end forecast is now expected to reach 2.45 million units, up 50,000 on earlier estimates. The record March figure has been balanced in April to bring the market back on track with industry estimates.”

The SMMT's forecast would make 2003 the UK's third-highest new car market to date. Diesel penetration is expected to reach 29 per cent of the market, or 710,000 units.

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