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UK new car sales down 22% in February

NEW car sales in Britain fell 22 percent in February from a year earlier, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said today, the latest sign that the economic crisis and tighter credit are hurting the automotive sector.

For the first two months of 2009, sales were down 28 percent, the society said.

The only sector doing well is the mini segment, which logged a sales increase of 47 percent in February, the report said. Within that sector, the Ford Fiesta was Britain's best-selling car for the fourth straight month.

"Other European countries have been proactive in assisting their automotive industries and it is imperative that U.K. government increases the pace in responding to industry proposals for a scrappage scheme and access to finance and credit," said Paul Everitt, the society's chief executive.


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