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Car sales down, but confidence is up

  • 10th consecutive fall
  • but forecast is still positive
  • Sales of alternatively fueled cars up 48.1%
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Despite the 10th consecutive monthly fall in car sales, confidence remains high for the future, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Car sales fell by 7.4% in April when compared with the same period in 2010, but the post-scrappage figures remain 1.5% ahead of industry forecasts.

The SMMT's chief executive, Paul Everitt, said: 'New car registrations in April demonstrated continued stability in the marketplace, with demand remaining lower than in 2010, although slightly ahead of industry expectations.

'The coming months will remain challenging, but we do expect to see a return to growth in the second half of the year.'

Just over 696,000 cars have been sold during the first four months of 2011 8.5% down on the same period last year but the SMMT still forecasts whole-year sales of 1.93 million vehicles.

Diesels and alternatively fueled cars prosper
Fleet sales were up 6.5% during April, while diesel-powered cars accounted for 52% of all registrations during the month with the VW Golf as the top-selling diesel.

Registrations of alternatively fuelled cars increased by 48.1% during April possibly reflecting the recent launch of cars such as the Nissan Leaf.
Best-sellers April 2011
April
Ford Fiesta
Volkswagen Golf
Vauxhall Astra
Vauxhall Corsa
Ford Focus
Volkswagen Polo
Vauxhall Insignia
Nissan Qashqai
BMW 3 Series
Volkswagen PassatSales
6755
4973
4900
4888
4843
4524
3912
3738
3133
2720Year-to-date
Ford Fiesta
Ford Focus
Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Astra
Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Polo
Vauxhall Insignia
BMW 3 Series
Nissan Qashqai
Peugeot 207Sales
34,679
29,278
25,424
22,150
22,074
16,738
15,816
13,274
12,991
12,188