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Scottish buyers defy predictions

Scottish drivers have spent £2billion on new cars so far this year - as sales surge to a new record high.

Figures show that 189,498 new cars were driven off garage forecourts in Scotland from January to October - a rate of 623 cars a day.

In October, 15,464 new cars were sold. Scotland is now showing a modest rise of 0.52% over the year - while the rest of the UK is showing a fall.

The Scottish Motor Trade Association said the latest figures fuelled hopes for sales to break the 200,000 barrier for the fourth year in a row.

A SMTA spokeswoman says: "Economic indicators suggested the final quarter of 2004 would show a sharp drop in new car sales, so I am delighted we remain ahead of last year at this stage."

It was also revealed that dealers in Central Scotland have cashed in most with sales up 7.5%.

Sales in Strathclyde are up 5% for the 10 months - with 87,332 vehicles sold. The worst hit area has been Lothian where sales have fallen by 10.5%.

The sales chart for October shows that the Renault Megane took pole position as Scotland's top selling car with 1185 sales - ahead of the Renault Clio which registered 854 sales.

(Source: Glasgow Evening Times).

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