The society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said new car registrations were down 18.6 percent compared to 63,225 compared with the same month in 2007. August is always a quiet month for the new car market but this is the lowest since 1966.
Bentley, BMW, Land Rover and Mercedes have all made decisions to reduce their production which has the knock on effect of job loss.
There are deep concerns over the state of the economy which will deter new car purchases, consumers are reluctant to commit to major purchases. The record fuel prices are of no help but it has encouraged interest in the more fuel efficient diesel models such as the Ford Fiesta Econetic and alternative fuelled vehicles such as hybrids and electric cars. Consumers are looking for more and more fuel efficient options as a way of reducing monthly spending.
Used car values are also under pressure it is thought there will be a fall of at least 12 percent between now and Christmas.