Fleet News

'500,000 pre-registrations'

MORE than 500,000 vehicles could be pre-registered this year, resulting in an actual new car market of closer to 1.68 million units rather than the 2.2 million forecasted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Last month, allegations surrounding the volume of pre-registered cars entering the UK new car market reached fever pitch with the Consumers' Association calling the September sales figures a 'sham'.

The row was compounded a week later with the Competition Commission announcing that it was to investigate pre-registration of cars as part of its ongoing New Cars Inquiry. Following publication of October's sales figures, Mitsubishi, which has regularly attacked pre-registration tactics by some of its rival manufacturers, claimed 26.8% of October's 149,614 new car registrations were recorded in the last five days. Mitsubishi said: 'Year-to-date 23.3% of total UK passenger car registrations have taken place in the last five days of their respective months. In a projected UK car market of 2.2 million for 1999, this represents 512,600 pre-registered units, resulting in an actual car market of closer to 1.68 million rather than the 2.2 million forecast.'

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