New car sales figures, released 06th May, show month on month sales were down 7.4% on 2010 but on par with last year if cars sold as a result of the scrappage scheme were excluded. The year to date is down 8.5% but in line with predictions. Despite challenging conditions the market was 1.5% ahead of forecast.

Sue Robinson, Director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK and Northern Ireland, commented “April market has performed relatively well during a period that has seen a lot of disruption with a number of factors slowing the market. There have been a number of bank holidays which resulted in slow showroom traffic, although when consumers visited they did tend to buy. There has also been a knock on affect on supply after the disaster in Japan and there are still signs of a lack of consumer confidence. That said the results show that despite the conditions people are still out there visiting showrooms and purchasing vehicles.

We anticipate much greater improvement to the market at the back end of the year which we believe will continue into 2012 when the market will be much stronger.”