The scrappage incentive scheme has boosted car sales for the third consecutive month, according to the latest industry figures.
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Nearly 368,000 new cars were sold last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said – 11.4% more than in September 2008.
Experts had predicted only a marginal increase on September 2008 figures but private buyers seem to have been attracted by the government’s scrappage incentive scheme, which was extended last week.
Successful scrappage scheme
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: ‘Market conditions remain challenging with demand being underpinned by the extremely successful scrappage incentive scheme.
‘The extension of the scheme will help to sustain demand through the latter part of this year and into 2010. This will allow economic recovery to strengthen and safeguard valuable industrial capability.’
Despite last month’s unexpectedly high sales, the overall number of new cars sold so far this year is 15.5% lower than the same period in 2008. And compared to the average for the last 10 years, this September’s total is down by 9.5%.
Smaller, more efficient vehicles remain most popular with buyers and in September, the was named the UK’s top-selling model for the seventh time this year. The SMMT said this shift towards smaller cars has led to a 4.9% drop in the average CO2 emissions of new cars over the year to date.
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