A VEHICLE made in the North-East remains a favourite with buyers across the country, but the new car market has fallen for a seventh consecutive month, according to new figures.

A little more than 158,000 new cars were sold in October, which was down 12.2 per cent on the same month last year.

The Nissan Qashqai, made at the firm’s Sunderland plant, was the fourth best-seller in the month, with 3,923 models going to buyers.

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However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which released the figures, said a fall in consumer confidence has hit overall demand, with year-todate new car registrations of 2.2 million down 4.6 per cent on 12 months ago.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Declining business and confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand, but this is being compounded by confusion over Government policy on diesel.

We urge the Government to use the Budget to restore stability to the market.”

The Qashqai has now clocked up 57,120 sales in the year-to-date, making it the fourth most popular model in the country. The Ford Fiesta, with 83,070 sales, is comfortably the nation’s favourite.