New car sales fall 4.4% in 2011
While sales in 2011 fell by 89,593 cars compared with the previous year's totals, the second half of the year recorded an overall a decline of just 1.1%.
Earlier SMMT forecasts of market stabilisation in 2012 and a return to growth in 2013 have been downgraded because of concerns over instability in euro-zone countries.
Who's buying what?
Sales of diesel and alternatively fuelled cars claimed record shares of the market in 2011, with sales of diesel-powered cars exceeding those of petrol counterparts for the first time.
Fleet sales were also buoyant, but private transactions recorded a significant drop.
Rising running costs and environmental concerns have also resulted in average new car emissions tumbling to a new low of 138.1g/km – a decline of 4.2% on 2010's figure of 144.2g/km. This equates to a fall of 23.7% on the average CO2 figure of 181g/km at the turn of the century.
The Ford Fiesta was 2011's best seller, with the VW Golf taking the crown for the top-selling diesel. Confirming the trend towards cheaper, efficient cars, the supermini segment retained the largest market share with 36.3% of all sales.
The best-selling cars of December and 2011 overall
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