AROUND 330,000 ‘62-plate’ new cars are expected to be registered next month with motorists spending in the region of £4.95 billion. Taken at face value that number of registrations, as forecasted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, appears to be good news. However, despite the media headlines over the vibrancy of the UK motor industry – led by Jaguar Land Rover switching to 24-hour manufacturing at its Halewood plant for the first time in its 50 year history – the forecast hides a none too rosy outlook. The 1999-2006 average figure for September new car sales was 414,699, according to the SMMT. Since then September registrations have been as follows: 2007, 424,290; 2008, 330,192; 2009, 367,929 (fuelled by the scrappage incentive scheme), 2010, 335,246; and 2011, 332,476. September is the second biggest month for dealers across theUKaccounting for almost a fifth of the year’s trade. However, it looks like that despite the hype – and the feel good effect from the Olympic Games – next month’s new car sales may be the lowest in recent years.