Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

UK car sales fall to 12-year-low

Car showroom
New car sales have fallen sharply since last summer

The number of new cars sold in the UK in 2008 fell by 11.3% from 2007 to 2,131,795, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The annual figure was the lowest since 1996, following eight consecutive monthly falls.

Sales fell 21.2% in December, compared with the same month the previous year, to 108,691 vehicles.

That figure is still a big improvement on November, when sales fell by 36.8%, which was the biggest drop since 1980.

Best sellers

The SMMT called on the government to support the car industry.

BEST SELLERS FOR 2008
1 Ford Focus
2 Vauxhall Corsa
3 Ford Fiesta
4 Vauxhall Astra
5 Volkswagen Golf
6 Peugeot 207
7 BMW 3 Series
8 Ford Mondeo
9 Vauxhall Zafira
10 Vauxhall Vectra
Source: SMMT

"The extraordinary circumstances we currently face mean that government support will be required to take advantage of global economic growth when it returns," said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.

But it conceded that the cut in VAT on 1 December might have contributed to the fall in sales slowing from November to December.

The Ford Focus was the best-selling car in 2008 for the 10th consecutive year and was the only marque to sell more than 100,000 vehicles during the year.

The new Ford Fiesta was the top seller in December.

Print Sponsor


RELATED BBC LINKS



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific