Car sales slip a gear or two in September

Car sales showed a sharp drop in September, following the expiration of financial incentives introduced by the government to boost vehicle purchases. National Statistical Service data released yesterday showed a 35.9 percent decline in sales of new cars relative to the same month last year, while in the first nine months of the year the annual decline was 19.4 percent. The number of new cars registered in September was 13,312, compared with 20,778 cars in September 2008. In August there had been an annual rise of 22 percent, when a 50 percent discount on registration tax still applied. The decline last month may also be attributed to consumers considering the incentives for the withdrawal from circulation of older vehicles, which became applicable on September 30.