New car sales figures out today, down 13.2% on July last year, highlight the fragility of the current market. “The consumer market in particular bears the brunt, with the pressure of job uncertainty and the prospect of shrinking household incomes as Government proceed with nationwide spending cuts, doubtlessly reflected in reduced spending .” said Sue Robinson of the RMI.

Sue Robinson, Director of the Retail Motor Industry (RMI), a trade body which represents the interests of operators across the UK, and provide sales and services to motorists and businesses, continued, “This uncertainty amongst consumers, combined with summer holidays, the World Cup, and a desire to wait for the new 60 registration plate in September, has translated, in the current market, to decreased footfall in showrooms and, consequently, impacted on sales for the month.”

The decline has been highlighted further by strong July sales in 2009 which were substantially boosted by the scrappage scheme.

With the help of manufacturer incentives the fleet market has shown signs of a small recovery during July.

Robinson continued, “In order for the market to strengthen manufactures need to support dealers and consumers alike, with assurances that vehicle prices will remain competitive, and by offering attractive, enticing, sales incentives, and that availability of the popular consumer vehicles is optimised to ensure consumers aren’t deterred by long waits for their vehicles.

“The Government needs to address the fragility of the market by reassuring consumers about tax rises and spending cuts. July is traditionally a quiet month in the show room, with buyers away on holiday and waiting for 60 plates, but with the right manufacturer incentives and assurance from Government, the market will strengthen again over the coming months, with the added desire by consumers to beat the VAT increase.