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    Challenging Times for the New Car Industry

    The Oxford factory which manufactures the Mini is set to close for four weeks, according to the Times Online, due to lack of sales. Sales of Minis have plunged a shocking 40% against the general new car market decline of 23% over the last month. This is just another effect of the recession that has hit the UK as well as the global market. BMW, producers of the Mini, planned to shut its Oxford factory over the New Year holiday anyway, but now workers are unsure of what awaits them in 2009 after their extended holiday. The re-make of the much-loved 60s Mini was a wonderful success story in the car industry when it launched in 2001 by the new owners BMW. Next year sees the 50th anniversary of the Mini and it is hoped that the celebrations won't be dampened due to the fall in sales and job cuts.

    Sadly, Honda will also close its Swindon factory for two months according to The Guardian. Its 4,800 staff will still receive basic pay and the management hopes the global economy will recover in order to avoid any job loses. Other car makers, including Jaguar and Landrover, have also cut production and jobs.

    However, this is very good news for people looking to buy a new car, as competition gets fierce on the road.

    According to the Times Online, the credit crunch is presenting opportunities for us to save a small fortune if we buy a new or nearly-new car. The best thing to do is to hunt around for the best deal, do your research and prepare to haggle in as many extras and price cuts as you can to save a bundle. If the salesmen at the car companies know you mean business, they will help you out - they need to meet targets after all.

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