Fleet News

Ford has high hopes for August rush

FORD is predicting sales of around 490,000 - the second highest on record - for what it hopes will be the last annual August plate change. Sales director Paddy Byrne is expecting sales to top last year's 479,400, but still be a few thousand short of the 1989 record of 500,000. He hopes next year will see the introduction of twice-yearly registrations in March and September.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is calling for bi-annual plate changes to smooth out the current once-a-year sales boom, before switching to an entirely new system when the alphabetical letter stock runs out in September 2000.

Ford is hoping to boost sales with a series of special offers. These include the new Mondeo Verona, based on the LX with alloy wheels, air conditioning and metallic paint for £13,995 on the road, and the new Ka3 which features Ka2 specification plus 6000CD player, alloy wheels, leather steering wheel and gear knob, and air conditioning for £9,695 on the road.

A J.D.Power-LMC Automotive Forecasting Services study predicts that August R registrations will hit 505,000 (up 5.3%), with the year's market peaking at 2.17m (up 7.3%) - the highest since the boom of 1989. The research shows 1999 will see the market drop by around 9% with market conditions subdued as we enter the next millennium.

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