Car makers buck downward sales trend

According to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, new car registrations in August 2010 were 17.5 per cent lower than the same month in 2009.

However, British luxury car makers Jaguar and Land Rover recorded an increase in sales of 10.71 and 1.95 per cent respectively.

Japanese manufacturer Mazda enjoyed similar success after selling 1,512 cars in the UK in August – 4.35 per cent more than August 2009 under the scrappage scheme.

Vauxhall also saw a rise of around four per cent, but the largest sales increase was at Renault, where the French marque increased sales by a massive 58.32 per cent.

In total Renault sold 2,959 cars in August 2010 compared to 1,869 in the same period in 2009. The success could be attributed to the introduction of the sixth body style in the Renault Megane family in the shape of the Coupe-Cabriolet and the all-new Renault Wind roadster.

Renault was the only French manufacturer to record an increase in sales after a very slight dip for Peugeot and Citroen in August.

Renault’s new car registrations show there has been no negative impact on sales of the controversial advertising campaign consisting of unflattering comparisons between France and Lancashire town Gisburn.

Despite several manufacturers enjoying an increase in new car registrations in August, the industry as a whole fared less well, a trend expected by the SMMT before the introduction of the new 60 plates.

"New car registrations were down 17.5% in August and conditions will remain challenging through the rest of the year,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. "The industry enjoyed a better than expected first half of the year and, despite the difficulties, SMMT is forecasting that new car registrations will close just ahead of 2009 figures."

Over 1.3 million new cars have been registered so far in 2010 – an increase of 13.2 per cent compared to 2009. The SMMT predicts over two million cars will be registered in 2010, 1.2 per cent more than 2009.