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Used car sales didn't slump in Q2, says SMMT, blaming rogue algorithm

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said used car sales figures released last week were not correct.

Its news last week, which stated Q2 used car sales had fallen by 13.5%, has been superseded by a new statement clarifying the sales were only down 0.7%

It blamed the mix up on an incorrect algorithm when it crunched official raw data.

The original, incorrect data forms part of the Market Intelligence section in the new issue of AM magazine, which unfortunately went to press before the SMMT realised the error.

The car industry body gets its raw used car sales data from the DVLA, the UK's vehicle licensing agency. The error occurred at some point in crunching those numbers, said its spokeswoman.

Rather than a fall from 2.12 million to 1.83 million secondhand car sales in the three months to end-June, the fall was more like 2.12 million to 2.11 million, the SMMT said.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said in a statement on the revised figures: "Although the market remains at an exceptionally high level, given the softening we've seen in registrations of new cars in more recent months, looking ahead it is vital that government secures the conditions that will maintain consumer and business confidence if we are to see both markets continue to prosper."

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