UK car sales rise, industry group revises up 2013 forecast

LONDON Tue Aug 6, 2013 9:38am BST

Toyota cars are lined up for sale on the forecourt of a Toyota dealer in Purley, south London, October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Toyota cars are lined up for sale on the forecourt of a Toyota dealer in Purley, south London, October 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - British car sales rose by an annual 12.7 percent to more than 162,000 in July, prompting the industry's trade body to revise up its forecasts for total car sales in 2013.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that it expected 2.216 million cars to be sold in 2013, 8.4 percent more than in 2012.

"Strong business and consumer confidence in July saw the new car market continue to rise," said Mike Baunton, the SMMT's interim chief executive. "Recently, we've seen a range of economic indicators point to improving conditions and our raised sales forecast emphasises how positively we view the rest of 2013."

Sales for the year to date total 1.325 million, 10.3 percent more than at the same point in 2012.

Ford's Fiesta supermini and mid-sized Focus were the two top-selling models in July, followed by General Motors' Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen's Golf.

(Reporting by David Milliken Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

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