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UK new car sales rise only 1.3% in September - SMMT

UK new car sales rise only 1.3% in September - SMMT
Bentley cars go through final quality control as they come off the production line at their factory in Crewe, Britain January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files -
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LONDON (Reuters) – British new car registrations increased by a weak 1.3% in the important sales month of September as demand picked up only slightly from a double-digit drop in the same month last year when stricter emissions rules hit the market.

A total of 343,255 vehicles were sold in September, one of two months each year when licence plate series changes typically prompt high demand, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

“We expected to see a more significant increase in September, similar to those seen in France, Germany, Italy and Spain,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

“Instead, consumer confidence is being undermined by political and economic uncertainty.”

In September 2018, demand slumped by just over 20% as tougher emissions rules came into force in the European Union, disrupting the availability of certain vehicles and prompting some automakers to offer sales incentives ahead of the change.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by William Schomberg)

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