New-car market declined in November

Posted on 03 Jan 2018 and read 499 times
New-car market declined in NovemberThe UK new-car market declined for an eighth consecutive month in November, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)(

It said that 163,541 new vehicles were registered (down 11.2% on November 2016), following a significant fall in demand for diesel cars.

Business, fleet and private registrations all fell (down 33.6%, 14.4% and 5.1% respectively), and registrations fell across all body types — except specialist sports cars (up 6.7%).

The biggest declines were seen in the executive and mini segments, which fell by 22.2% and 19.8% respectively, while demand in the super-mini segment fell by 15.4%.

However, the Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle (AFV) sector continued to make significant gains, growing by 33.1%, while petrol cars saw a modest gain of 5.0%, but these increases could not offset the 30.6% drop in diesel registrations.

The SMMT says this decline “follows months of confusion and speculation about the Government’s air-quality plans and its policies towards diesel cars”.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “An eighth month of decline in the new-car market is a major concern, with falling business and consumer confidence exacerbated by on-going anti-diesel messages from government.

Diesel remains the right choice for many drivers, not least because of its fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.

The decision to tax the latest low-emission diesels is a step backwards and will only discourage drivers from trading in their older more-polluting cars; and given that fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest and cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and
economic consequences.”

New light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations also experienced a double-digit decline in November, with 26,486 new vans and pick-ups registered — the third consecutive monthly fall and 11.1% down on November 2016.

That said, Mr Hawes was able to draw some positives from the latest figures. “While the market declined, it remains at an historically high level.

"Nevertheless, economic and political uncertainty continues to affect business confidence —and new-van purchasing patterns. This is damaging both for the market and for efforts to improve air quality.

"Getting more of the latest Euro 6-compliant LCVs onto our roads is the fastest way to reduce emissions.”

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