New car sales figures, released today, show month on month sales were down just 1.7% on 2010. The year to date is down 7.3% but the market is on track to meet the full year forecast. Fleet and diesel volumes performed well in May, growing by over 10%.

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 “Great performances for the fleet and diesel sectors which helped to boost the May new car market. However consumers still have a lack of confidence to buy big ticket items such as new cars and this is causing some weakness in retail car market. That said, with significant offers with areas such as service plans and finance, there is considerable incentive for consumers and businesses alike to purchase new 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.”