UK DIESEL auto sales DOWN by 30% in October

Tammy Harvey
November 7, 2017

New auto registrations fell for the seventh month in a row as 158,192 vehicles were sold in October, down 12.2% compared to the same month previous year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The decline according to SMMT's chief executive, Mike Hawes is not just business and consumer confidence but also confusion over government policy on diesel.

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles are up nearly 37 per cent since October 2016, wth petrol cars increasing by a smaller 2.7 per cent.

This means petrol dominates the overall market share, with 55.4% of all new cars registered. The SMMT's latest forecast for 2017, published last week, sees the market expected to end the year on 2.565 million units - a -4.7% decline.

"We urge the government to use the forthcoming Autumn Budget to restore stability to the market, encouraging the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles".

"Despite registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles rising and a slight uplift in sales of petrol cars, the overall market was down by more than 12% last month as these efforts failed to balance out diesel's sharp decline".

Demand from business and fleet buyers fell 26.8pc and 13pc respectively, while registrations among private auto buyers dropped 10.1 per cent. Sales of diesels were once again down massively - seeing a 30 per cent decline. Diesel cars make up 39.4% and AFVs 5.2%.

SMMT has urged government to provide "reassurance" to consumers and industry that new diesel cars will not face bans or restrictions.

Richard Jones, managing director at Black Horse one of the UK's leading motor finance providers, and part of Lloyds Banking Group, believes the latest data suggests the new vehicle market is moving to a more sustainable position. We must also remember Brexit has already had an impact on the United Kingdom vehicle market through the fundamental shift in the exchange rate which is impacting auto prices, making the market correction even more understandable.

However, AFV's increasing market share couldn't offset the decline in diesel registrations, which fell by -29.9% in October - the most noticeable drop yet.

"Confidence in new, cleaner diesel vehicles must be restored and consumers need to understand that no town or city has plans to charge Euro 6 diesels to enter".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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