ECONOMY

Major drop in car sales last year

Car sales posted an 18.4 percent decline over 2008 last year, despite the measures taken to boost the market, according to data supplied by the National Statistical Service. Measures including a 50 percent reduction in registration rates and the – particularly short-lived – scrappage incentive failed to turn the tide in terms of sales of cars, with 2010 appearing as if it is going to be even harder for the industry, which is now expecting a further decline in sales by at least 30 percent year-on-year. In the period from January to December 2009, 283,413 new cars were sold, with the 18.4 percent annual drop being far greater than the decline registered in 2008 over 2007 (at 6.8 percent). However, December saw 12.8 percent more new car registrations compared with the same month in 2008, due to vehicles that had been ordered when the trade-in incentive still applied. Sales of new cars last month dropped by 19.3 percent year-on-year.