The organisation representing the UK motor industry has warned there will be more job losses if a scrappage scheme is not introduced, after car sales plummeted again.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that new UK registrations in March were 313,912, down from 451,642 the year before. That's a fall of 30.5 per cent.
The SMMT said that March was a "barometer of confidence in the economy" because it is when new car registrations come out.
A spokeswoman said: "A scrappage scheme is now one of the key things to boost confidence. The UK is now in the minority by not having a scrappage scheme.
"If we continue the market decline, those who have used measures such as a reduction in shift patterns will have to move to redundancy programmes that they have avoided so far.”
The SMMT said the market in the first three months of 2009 has fallen by over 200,000 units, or 29.7 per cent.
Year-on-year sales were down more than 30 per cent in January and almost 22 per cent in February in 2009.
The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in the UK for the fifth successive month in March.