The British car market slowdown continued last month with Fiat among the biggest losers. The Italian marque's registrations were down a massive 62 per cent in June, with just 2412 units compared to 6359 in the same month last year. The figures for the year to date don't make much better reading: a drop of 53 per cent - worse than the now-defunct MG with 43 per cent - reduces its market share from 2.76 to 1.34 per cent.
Overall, June sales were down 11,454 units (4.8 per cent), with sales of 1,296,485 for the year so far, the lowest January-June figure since 2001 and 5.8 per cent below 2004 results. Things look equally bleak for what remains of the British motor industry. The closure of MG Rover's Longbridge facility has contributed to a drop in the percentage of British registrations built within the UK from 18.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2005 to 16.6 per cent.
Part of the reason for the drop in new registrations is a hefty fall in private purchases, blamed on high interest rates and rising fuel costs by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. From January to June there has been a fall of 72,295 units compared to 2004, dropping the market share from 47.9 to 45.3 per cent.