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April new car registrations fall 24%

New car registrations fell by 24% to 133,475 units in April and is down by 28.5% over the first four months of 2009.

Paul Everitt, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive, said: “Today records the eleventh successive fall in new car registrations yet the UK motor industry continues to demonstrate its strength and resilience throughout.

“Despite the tough conditions, the industry is hopeful that its prospects will improve in the coming months and the steps it has taken will provide the basis for a sustained recovery once growth returns.”

  • April 2009 was the lowest April market since 1991, although it was 13% above the forecast of 118,000 units. Registrations over the first four months of 2009 declined by 28.5% or 245,184 units. The rolling annual total has fallen to 1.887m units.
  • April saw demand for all sales types fall, although the decline within the fleet market was slightly less subdued at 21.8%. Diesel penetration slipped for the second time this year, although remains higher, at 44.2% compared with 42.7% in 2008, over the first four months of the year. Only the mini car segment rose in the month, up by 54.3%.
  • The Ford Focus returned to the top spot in the best selling model list for the first time since July 2008. The Ford Fiesta remains the UK’s best seller over the year-to-date.

For full April registration figures by manufacturer click here. (Source: SMMT)


Sue Robinson, director of the RMI national franchised dealers association (NFDA), said: "Today’s car sales figures highlight the state of the new car market and the need for the introduction of the scrappage scheme in the UK.

"We hope that the scrappage scheme will stimulate the new car market, and encourage consumers back to showrooms."

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