May 13, 2010

Cautious optimism on car sales figures

Car and van sales could be better than had been feared this year, the motor industry suggested this week.

Although car sales will still dip by about 3.6 per cent compared to last year’s figures, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revised its initial, gloomy, 2010 forecast by 5.6 per cent, following better than expected first-quarter sales.

Total car sales should now total about 1.92 million for 2010, with new van registrations hitting 202,000, about 8.6 per cent better than the SMMT forecast earlier this year.

The SMMT said its revisions reflected increased confidence and stability and a sustained level of consumer demand.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “Our latest forecasts reflect the better than expected results in the first quarter and improving consumer confidence. The coming months will be challenging now that the scrappage scheme has ended, but industry remains cautiously optimistic.

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