New car registrations rose during 2010 but there is strong proof of a rocky road ahead for the UK car industry this year.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders say 35,847 more fresh cars were sold previous year compared to 2009 - a rise of 1.8%.
But it seems fewer people got a latest motor for Christmas, as registrations plunged by 18% in December - a drop to 123,000 vehicles.
The SMMT believes car sales could fall by as much as 5% this year.
The proof is backed up by the story of 2010 - with volumes up 19.9% in the first half but falling 13.8% in the second half.
It says the step change was a reflection of the elimination in March of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme, introduced by the Labour Government to boost the industry through the financial crisis.
Over 100,000 cars were registered through the plan in 2010, around 5% of the total market.