British car sales drop 30 percent

April 6, 2009
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, LONDON, April 6 – Sales of new cars in Britain plunged by almost a third in March as recession-hit consumers shunned new vehicles, trade data showed on Monday.

Industry body the Society of Motor Manufaturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement that 313,912 new cars were registered in March. That marked a decline of 30.5 percent from the figure for sales in March last year.

"March new car registrations are a barometer of confidence in the economy, from businesses and consumers alike," said SMMT chief Paul Everitt in a statement.

"The fall in the market shows that government needs to do more to boost confidence," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

"A scrappage scheme will provide the incentive needed and the evidence is clear that schemes already implemented across Europe do work to increase demand. The UK is the only major European market not to implement a scheme."

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