Britain upgrades car sales forecast

London, Aug 7 (IANS) Britain has upgraded its forecast of car sales for 2013 to 2.22 million units, up by 8.4 percent over last year, the country's leading motor industry group said.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said new car registration in July increased 12.7 percent on a year-on-year basis to a total of 162,228 units, the 17th successive monthly rise, Xinhua reported.

"Strong business and consumer confidence in July saw the new car market continue to rise, posting double-digit growth in the month," said SMMT interim Chief Executive Mike Baunton Tuesday.

"Now we have evidence of consistent growth," Baunton said, adding that they have seen "a range of economic indicators point to improving conditions and our raised sales forecast emphasises how positively we view the rest of 2013".

The SMMT figures showed that registrations of alternatively-fuelled car grew 17.0 percent in July to 2,432 units and totalled 17,859 units for the January to July period.

Commercial vehicle registration totalled 22,211 units in July, down 0.6 percent on a year-on-year basis, with trucks sales rising 10.2 percent to 3,800 units, but van sales down 2.6 percent to 18,420 units.

The bus and coach sector continues to struggle when compared to last year, with registrations for the market falling 19.1 percent in July on a year-on-year basis and down 21.0 percent for the first seven months of this year.