New car sales plunge again in April in UK

New car sales continued to decline for the 11th consecutive month in the UK last month, and registered the lowest April sales in the in the last 18 years.

With recession continuing to grip the UK and consumers going slw on big-ticket purchases, new car sales for the month fell 24.0 per cent.

On the brighter side, the sales at 133,475 new vehicles beat analyst's forecasts of 118,000 vehicles. Even so, the sales "records the 11th successive fall in new car registrations, yet the UK motor industry continues to demonstrate its strength and resilience throughout,'' said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. 

According to data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), in the same month last year 175,668 were sold.

In March, the UK car production slumped by 51.3 per cent, a slight improvement compared to the decline of 59 per cent in February and the total production of cars for the first quarter had come down to 56.6 per cent. (See: UK auto production plunges in March)

Last month, the SMMT had said that the overall new car market is likely to fall to 1.72 million units this year from 2.13 million in 2008 and 2.4 million in 2007.
The April month saw sales falling for all types of vehicles, although the decline for vehicles within the fleet market was slightly less at 21.8 per cent.