UK car scrappage scheme boost sales in August

UK new-car registrations soared for the second consecutive month in August on the back of the UK government's reluctantly-announced car scrappage scheme introduced on18 May 2009 as sales rose by 6 per cent last month compared to the same month last year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders yesterday.

Car registrations rose 6 per cent to 67,006 units as this was the second successive month of growth followed by a rise of 2.4 per cent in July-the first growth seen since April 2008. (See: UK car sales hint at recovery despite recession) 

Despite growth, the 2009 August market was still over 10,500 units below the 2007 sales and 15.0 per cent off the 78,800 market averaged between 1999 and 2008.

''New car registrations in August increased for the second successive month, providing welcome news for the UK motor industry. The scrappage incentive scheme is having a positive impact but with consumer and business confidence still fragile, there remain significant risks ahead. It is essential that these early signs of recovery are sustained into 2010,'' said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

The SMMT said that August typically accounts for just 3.3 per cent of annual new car registrations and the September would be crucial since it accounts for an average of 17 per cent of all annual new car sales because it is the month where new registration plates are introduced.

The improved sales in August were driven by the mini and supermini once again with sales surging by 52.8 per cent and 16.9 per cent respectively in August. Sports and dual-purpose segments also recorded strong growth, up 25.8 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively.