New car sales up 1.8 percent in March

LONDON Thu Apr 5, 2012 9:19am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - New car sales rose 1.8 percent on the year in the key month of March to 372,835 vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Thursday.

March is typically the busiest month for registrations, accounting for 18 percent of the full year's volume on average.

"The important March new car market performed above expectations... Domestic demand for new cars is showing signs of recovery," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

First-quarter volumes also ticked up 0.9 percent on the back of better-than-expected activity in March, SMMT said.

(Reporting by Olesya Dmitracova)

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