Fleet News

Boom ahead after general election?

NEW car sales could reach 2.11 million this year with fleet sales accounting for 985,000 units if consumer and business confidence remain intact. A new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders - 'Review of the UK New Car Market: 1996 including an Outlook for 1997 and 1998' - believes this year's new car sales figures will be the third highest on record but will slip back in 1998 to 2.065 million.

However, the SMMT believes new car sales over the next two years depend on how long the positive economic influences - particularly interest and tax rates - can be held. And it is warning that its 2.11 million forecast for this year should be viewed cautiously saying that in reality the market could be 2.08 million with a stronger market implying a slightly more pronounced softening next year as a result of the 'unwinding of the current positive economic and political trends' at the end of 1997 and into next year.

The SMMT also predicts imported cars will continue to take a larger share of the UK new car market following their 62% share last year particularly as a result of increasing their fleet and business sector volumes. Beyond 1998 the SMMT believes sales will remain around the two million mark.

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