UK: New car sales down 7.9% in March image

Registrations of new passenger cars in the UK declined 7.9% year-on-year in March 2011, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Registrations were down by 8.7 percent over the first three months of the year and the 2011 market is forecast to drop by five percent to 1.93 million units.

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, said “Despite a dip versus 2010, the market remains on course to meet SMMT’s forecast for the year with motorists buying increasingly fuel-efficient and low emitting vehicles across every segment.”

Registrations of cars by private buyers were down sharply – 17 per cent lower than a year ago – but those made by fleets rose by 1.3 per cent and business registrations 12.7 per cent, as corporate buyers bought or replaced their vehicles.

subject to be updated later today