London Taxis International suffered a sales dip last month with new registrations of its vehicles down almost a third.

But the Coventry manufacturer - the largest predominantly British owned car firm in the country - was still 36 per cent ahead in the year to date.

Sales in August fell from 142 in 2006 to 96 last month, while year on year they increased from 1,622 to 2,204.

Matthew Cheyne, sales and marketing director for the company which employs 300 people at its site in Holyhead Road, said the downturn was the result of last year's run out of the TX2 taxi which has been replaced by the TX4.

He said: "Last August we were running out the TX2 and we had a lot of promotions going on.

"We are still ahead of target for the TX4, and expect sales to improve in September.

"There is no concern. August is a quiet month, with people on holiday, drivers working with tourists."

Mr Cheyne said the annual increase was down to the success of the TX4 taxi.

"Drivers love the car and it is going very well."

The total commercial vehicle market was down 1.4 per cent in August at 18,765 trucks, vans and taxis, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Within the light commercial vehicle segment which was down 3.7 per cent, LDV bucked the trend with sales up 5.6 per cent. The Washwood Heath van maker saw its registrations rise from 357 to 377 vehicles in August, while in the year to date, registrations jumped by 12 per cent from 4,435 to 4,973, again outpacing the 2.2 per cent market growth.

Steve Miller marketing director of LDV, said: "Our strong sales performance continues. Maxus is up by over 30 per cent year on year, and with our new chassis cab range set to launch in the next three weeks we are expecting a strong finish to the year."

Trucks sale were 9.7 per cent up on last August, although in the year to date it was down 18.8 per cent at 30,126.