One leading fleet director said he calculated 25% of last month's sales were 'false'. Sources pointed to 40-90,000 September registrations as being less than genuine, with six manufacturers being singled out. Vince Kinner, head of fleet at Volkswagen, which was not one of the named manufacturers, said: 'Customers already have European pricing for pre-registrations on cars when looking at September's pre-registration prices. There are discounts on £16,000 cars of £2,000-£5,000, which is appalling.'
Phil Evans, senior principal researcher at the Consumers' Association, launched a scathing attack on car makers. He said: 'The 'sham' sales figures have been inflated by a surge of pre-registrations. We challenge the car makers to reveal the true sales figures for September. Consumers have had enough of high prices and are refusing to buy new cars. The pitiable attempt to pretend otherwise is another clear indication of the industry's desperation.'