Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Diesel crackdown is KILLING off United Kingdom vehicle market

October dip New car sales are back down to levels last seen in 2013 SMMT data shows October dip New car sales are back down to levels last seen in 2013 SMMT data shows
Mae Harvey | 07 November, 2017, 01:10

Demand fell by -12.2% in the month, as falling confidence among buyers continued to impact the market.

The first 10 months of the 2017 has now seen 2.22m cars registered, down 4.6% on where we were previous year.

The SMMT blamed a drop in business and consumer confidence for the fall.

Overall year-to-date figures saw a decline of -3.5 per cent on 2016, with 307,647 registrations. The SMMT has now called on the government to reassure consumers that "the latest, low emission diesel cars will not face any bans or restrictions".

Confidence and trust of diesel cars has plummeted since the 2015 "diesel gate" scandal which revealed the true emissions output of these cars.

"Following the recent revision to the new van forecast, this month's decline is not unexpected", said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

The Government said earlier this year it would aim to end sales of conventional diesel and petrol cars by 2040, while ministers are said to be drawing up plans to tax diesel cars more heavily in towns and increase duty on the fuel.

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"Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new auto market but this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesel", said Mike Hawes, the SMMT's chief executive.

The SMMT also cites a lack of confidence as the main reason for the decline, although we'd have thought the fact that the auto industry's push to get us all in to new cars with fancy lease deals has now crested the hill plays a big part too.

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 auto market is moving to a more sustainable position.

"Whilst many - including ourselves - openly expected this correction in sales, it's more complicated to predict exactly where they will go as we move into 2018".

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. The latter - which accounts for hybrid and electric vehicles - now accounts for 5.2% of the market overall.

"Fleets adopting a more AFV-focused vehicle policy need to invest in driver training to realise the full benefits of these vehicles".

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