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February new car registrations increase by 26.4%

The new car market in February rose 26.4% to 68,686 units paving the way for the March plate-change this month.

Much of the March recovery will be attributable to scrappage and the scheme accounted for 19.6% of the market in February.

Final orders through the scheme must be made by the end of March, or sooner if funds run out. The scheme’s impact will diminish during Q2 with market decline expected in the second half of 2010.

 All sales types reported growth in February, but this remains focused on the SIS-boosted private sector. Likewise, demand for small cars continues to rise strongly. Alternatively-fuelled cars doubled their market share to 1.0% in February. 

Paul Everitt, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “Scrappage has generated eight consecutive months of growth in the new car market and we expect its benefits to stretch beyond the scheme’s closure later this month.

“The industry continues to face challenging market conditions, but positive trends in the fleet and business sectors suggest that negative impacts can be minimised.

“Strengthening business and consumer confidence remains industry’s priority. A clear and consistent approach to CO2 based taxation and improved access to affordable credit are essential elements in sustaining recovery in the new car market.”

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