UK dealers cheer rising sales of luxury vehicles and used cars

Marion Dakers
A SLEW of UK car dealers heralded a strong spell of trading yesterday, with sales of both luxury motors and used vehicles on the rise.

Shares in high-end car dealership HR Owen closed 11.2 per cent higher after the firm said it was trading ahead of expectations and that full-year profits are on track to beat market forecasts.

Lookers, meanwhile, boasted of an “excellent trading performance… in particular during the critical month of September”, with an 11 per cent year-on-year jump in core retail new car sales in the first nine months of the year.

And dealership chain Pendragon said third quarter like-for-like profit is up 11.7 per cent on the previous period due to improving margins and expansion. Like-for-like used car sales are up 2.8 per cent on last year, and the firm expects to hit full-year forecasts.

But in Europe the picture was less rosy. Fiat cut its full-year forecasts to the lower end of its range and said net debt could be up to €1bn more than expected.