• New car registrations fell 24.8 percent in May to 134,858 units.
Registrations over first five months of 2009 were down 289,598
units or 27.9 percent. The Mini segment continues to buck overall
market trend and reported further growth.

“While consumer confidence is improving, the UK
motor industry is still facing a difficult economic climate,” said
SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.

• So many vehicle owners are said to be taking
advantage of the £2,000 discount on new vehicles – funded equally
between vehicle manufacturers and the Government, which has put up
£300 million – that funds will run out long before the scheduled
end of the scheme on February 28 next year.

Figures show 35,000 new vehicles were bought under
the plan in two weeks, with over 60,000 bought through the scheme
to date. It is calculated the government funding will run out by
August, although it will take time to feed into registration
figures.

• Despite the statement from the SMMT, there is
growing evidence the government’s scheme to scrap hundreds of
thousands of old cars is not that popular with motorists. A new
survey suggests most people who have studied the scheme have
decided not to take advantage of it.

Researchers from car price guide Parker’s
questioned 600 people online. It found 70 percent of respondents
said the scheme was not generous enough, and 81 percent said they
would not be taking advantage of it.

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By GlobalData

• Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, has made
its worst annual loss. The Japanese company said it made a net loss
of ¥436.94 billion (£2.9 billion) in the year to 31 March, compared
with a record profit the year before.

• Volkswagen has cancelled talks with Porsche about
a potential merger of the two carmakers as opposition to the deal
grows. A spokesman for Volkswagen said there is “currently no
atmosphere for constructive talks”.

The company is believed to be concerned at
Porsche’s lack of strategy for integrating the businesses and last
week warned that its suitor must cut its debts of £8 billion before
any deal. But Porsche insists a deal can still be struck.

• Tata is trying to raise up to £1 billion by
September to keep Jaguar Land Rover afloat without government help.
It is understood the Indian firm has mandated its financial adviser
Citigroup to find banks with a solid credit rating prepared to
underwrite some of the £340 million loan pledged by the European
Investment Bank.

Tata is also seeking to tap the debt markets to
secure the £500 million-£1 billion short-term financing package
needed. Some of this funding will comprise of a loan facility to be
called on if trading is worse than expected.

• The OFT has launched a probe into the motor trade
used car market.

“Last year, more than 68,000 consumers complained
to Consumer Direct about second-hand car sales,” the OFT said.

The OFT said the used car market was worth £35
billion in 2008 and would consider whether existing consumer
protection was adequate. The probe will focus on the trade and not
private buyers, although it will aim to provide “clarity across the
wider second-hand car market”.

It will work with the used car sector, Trading
Standards Institute, and consumer bodies in its investigations.