British car sales drop 17.5 percent in August: trade data

6th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

New car sales in Britain dropped by 17.5 percent in August compared with the level 12 months earlier after the end of a government subsidy scheme, trade data showed on Monday.

It was the second monthly fall in a row after sales had dropped by 13 percent in July, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement. July's drop had been the first monthly decline in car sales for one year.

A so-called scrappage scheme during the financial crisis that offered subsidies for buying new cars in exchange for trading in ten-year-old vehicles ended five months ago.

"New car registrations were down 17.5 percent (to 55,305) in August and conditions will remain challenging through the rest of the year," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"The industry enjoyed a better than expected first half of the year and, despite the difficulties, SMMT is forecasting that new car registrations will close just ahead of 2009 figures."

© 2010 AFP

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