LONDON - First-quarter sales in the UK received a huge boost in March following the introduction of a twice-yearly license plate system intended to even out sales patterns across the year.
Introduction of the 'T' plate resulted in sales of 370,060 in March, an increase of 73.4 percent compared with March 1998. The boost offset the effects of a slow February, which was 52.6 percent down. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' forecast for 1999 remains at 2.03 million units.
Market leader Ford saw sales fall 6 percent to 108,352, while GM's Vauxhall subsidiary remained second place with a 6.4 percent rise.
The Focus became UK best-seller during March, but the top 10 best-sellers in the full quarter were Fiesta, Focus, Astra, Corsa, Vectra, Clio, Golf, Mondeo, Megane and 206.