Car industry still ahead despite sales reversal

Industry bosses have described a 17 per cent slide in sales of new cars north of the Border last month as “disappointing” but said they remained ahead in the year to date, writes Scott Reid.

Registrations totalled 13,459 units, down from 16,247. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Registrations totalled 13,459 units, down from 16,247 in the same month last year. October is traditionally a quieter month for dealerships after the September plate change. However, the year-on-year fall is far greater than a UK-wide decline of 1.1 per cent last month, the first drop since early 2012.

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Sandy Burgess, chief executive of trade body the Scottish Motor Trade Association, said: “Whilst disappointing to note the significant reduction in vehicle registrations against last year, we feel that the year to date figures which still show a rise on 2014 confirms the ongoing enthusiasm for the purchase of new vehicles in Scotland.”

He noted the ongoing “issues” surrounding Volkswagen, with registrations of VW vehicles in Scotland down by 16 per cent last month but said he had confidence in its “excellent dealer network”.