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2019-01-08 06:18
Line of cars

Image: iStock

A lobby group for the UK auto industry says new vehicle sales in 2018 fell by their biggest rate since the global financial crisis a decade ago.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Monday that new car sales during the year were down by 6.8% from the year before at 2.37 million units.

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That's the biggest decline since 2008 when the British economy sank into a deep recession in the wake of the financial crisis.

Mike Hawes, the group's chief executive, says "falling consumer confidence, confusing fiscal and policy messages and shortages due to regulatory changes have combined to create a highly turbulent market."

Without directly blaming the fall on Brexit uncertainty, Hawes said these figures "should act as a wake-up call for policymakers."


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