Fleet News

Year's car sales total forecast to be highest for a decade

THIS year's new car sales will be the highest total for almost a decade but they will fall early in the new millennium as recession strikes, according to new figures from CAP Monitor - Future Residual Values. CAP says new car sales this year will reach 2.2 million - the third highest figure on record after 2.215 million registrations in 1988, 2.3 million in 1989.

Last year's figure was 2.17 million and predictions are that it will fall to 2.15 million next year, 1.95 million in 2000 and 1.8 million in 2001. In 2002 new car sales will climb to 1.9 million and reach 2.0 million units again in 2003. New car sales in the first nine months of this year are 3.7% up on the same period last year at 1,843,480 (1,777,062).

CAP economist Ramesh Notra said: 'The initial slowdown will be quite sharp during the first three months of 1999, which will probably cause the industry some alarm when comparing figures with early 1998, although sales will pick up during the latter part of the year. Although we are still forecasting economic growth during 1999 the continuing slowdown will turn into recession in the year 2000 when new car sales will dip below two million for the first time since 1995 and will fall further in 2001.'

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