• New car registrations rose 2.4 percent in July to
157,149 units. This was the first growth in 15 months, reflecting
the positive impact of the scrappage incentive scheme.
Registrations from private buyers and of small cars were up in
July. The market is still down almost 550,000 units over the past
12 months. “The impact of the scrappage scheme is clear and we are
encouraged by the positive impact it has had,” said Paul Everitt,
SMMT chief executive.

• The government has been urged to extend the
scrappage scheme until next summer in order to avoid a significant
fall in new car sales and a consequent collapse in revenues for car
manufacturers and retailers.

The call comes from Glass’s which said the
scrappage scheme currently accounts for around 13,500 new car
orders per week and estimated that the government's
allotted funding could run out by October; well in advance of the
earliest forecasted rise in consumer confidence. Glass’s said a
termination of the scheme this year would plunge new car orders to
levels seen in the fourth quarter of 2008, with little prospect of
an improvement until well into 2010 especially.

• The car marketplace continues to defy the
recession to some extent with no sign so far of a return to the
slump of 2008.

Research for the latest edition of Black Book
surprised even the team, with little change despite a slight
weakening of retail activity. Key, yet again, is the ongoing
shortage of stock in the trade market, which means supply is not
overtaking demand. The longer the current climate goes on, the
clearer it becomes that, as far as used car values is concerned, a
severely weakened new car market is good for stability.

• According to data released by JD Power Automotive
Forecasting, car sales in Western Europe grew by 4.1 percent over
last year in June, the first positive year-on-year result for over
a year. The result reflects the continued impact of incentives,
especially in Germany where the gain on last year was 40.5

JD Power said the German car market is up 26.1
percent so far this year and may hit 4 million units for the whole
year. Car markets in France and Italy also continued to benefit
from incentives and, in both cases, positive gains were achieved in

• The CBI’s latest Financial Services Survey showed
that conditions remained tough in the financial services sector in
the three months to June, with business levels, income and
profitability continuing to fall. However there are some
encouraging glimmers; optimism about the overall business situation
was positive for the first time in two years, and business volumes
are expected to increase over the next quarter.

• Nissan has announced its Wearside factory will
start producing batteries for electric cars, expected to create 350
new jobs.

• The impact of the recession on donations has led
BEN to campaign for wider industry support of its benevolent fund.
The cruel irony of the economic recession is that it has led to
greater demand for BEN’s services from those affected by job cuts,
pay freezes and financial pressure, while damaging its ability to
help as funding becomes tighter.

BEN’s main source of income comes from a 62p
contribution from manufacturers and importers for each vehicle
registered – an initiative introduced and topped up since its
introduction during a previous recession.