British car sales drop for first time in a year

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New car sales in Britain dropped 13 percent in July -- the first fall in a year after the end of a government subsidy scheme and as economic recovery is not expected to last, data showed Thursday.

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 four months ago.

New car sales fell 13.2 percent last month compared with July 2009, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement.

"A drop in private registrations compared to the scrappage-fuelled months of 2009 was expected and has brought the first market decline for 12 months," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"Subdued consumer confidence and a still fragile economic recovery make the outlook for the remainder of 2010 challenging, but a stronger than expected first half means full year volumes are still forecast to exceed 2009's total."

© 2010 AFP

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