New-car sales in the United Kingdom declined to 366,101 units in March 2011, a 7.9 percent drop compared to sales in March 2010, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed in its monthly sales update.
In addition, registrations were down to 558,336 units, a decrease of 8.7 percent, in the first quarter this year. The 2011 market is also expected to decrease by five percent, resulting to 1.93 million units.
It is also expected to continue a downward trend during the second quarter, but will recover and stabilize during the third and fourth quarters of the year.
The decrease in the numbers can be attributed to the high taxes and rising inflation that affected the consumers in the country. Moreover, job insecurity and passive pay increases are hindering potential customers from making major purchases.
The 366,101 new car registrations in March, according to SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt, demonstrated that the demand is constant for March, which is normally the biggest month of the year. In addition, Everitt disclosed that the market is on track to meet the SMMT forecast for this year despite the decreasing figures from 2010 to 2011.
He cited that consumers are opting for vehicles that are fuel-efficient and low-emitting. The best-selling vehicle during the month of March was the Ford Fiesta, which is also the most popular in the first quarter of 2011.