Scots car sales continue to fall 08 | 10 | 2010

    NEW CAR registrations in Scotland in September were down 13.4% on the corresponding month last year, and Scottish Motor Trade Association chief executive Douglas Robertson believes we'll have to wait till next year to see a marked improvement.

    A total of 31,944 new cars were registered last month compared to 36,887 in September 2009, a reduction of 4943 sales. Across the whole of the UK, sales dipped 8.9%, down from 367,929 to 335,246.

    The Highlands showed the biggest percentage drop in Scotland, down 17.81% on September last year (1797 down to 1477), followed very closely by Strathclyde, down 17.41% (19,296-15,937). And while Central was down just 1.91% (802-708), only Grampian showed an increase on 2009, up a slender 1.58% (3358-3411).

    But while the market in September was down across Scotland, the market through the first nine months of 2010 shows a slim increase of 1.6%, up from 140,013 to 142,258.

    Vauxhall again filled the top two slots in the Scottish bestseller list last month, with the Corsa racking up 2246 sales, followed by the Astra (1630). Ford's Fiesta, the Nissan Micra and Renault Clio rounded off the top five.

    And while the top three models mirror the top three of the year-to-date sales figures, Ford's Focus tucks in between the Fiesta in third and the Clio in fifth.

    "We are not surprised at the continued drop in car sales figures," Robertson said. "With the ending of the Scrappage Scheme and low consumer confidence we feel this downward trend will continue for some months. We believe any signs of improvement will not start to happen until well into 2011."

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    Jim McGill

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