Slump in United Kingdom vehicle sales deepens as industry records 12% fall

Violet Tucker
November 7, 2017

Diesel sales continued to fall but still had a 39% market share in the month, down from 49% as sales fell 30% to just over 62,000, down 15% in the year to date. Demand for diesel cars continued to drop sharply - falling 29.9 per cent in October and 14.9 per cent for the year so far.

The UK auto recession skidded on last month amid continued soft business and consumer confidence.

Year to date registrations decrease -4.6%.

As a result of the seemingly terminal decline in diesel auto registrations, the SMMT is calling for the government to reassure buyers that there will be no bans, charges or other restrictions place on the latest diesel cars in the future.

Despite the fall, both petrol models and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) enjoyed growth of 2.7% and 36.9% respectively.

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

However, Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said diesel was getting an unnecessarily bad name and urged action from the government.

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The UK new vehicle market saw another month of decline - and is down year-on-year - on the back of poor diesel sales.

People are buying fewer diesel cars as petrol and alternative fuel cars grow in popularity, according to new industry figures.

This aligns with SMMT's latest forecast for 2017, published last week, with the market expected to end the year on 2.565 million units - a -4.7 per cent decline.

The key to pickup in the industry says Hawes is for the Government to use its forthcoming Autumn Budget to restore stability to the market and to encourage the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles as fleet renewal is the fastest and most effective way of addressing air quality concerns.

"Consumers are showing huge interest in eco-friendly cars and it's reflected in new registrations".

However, these gains were unable to offset heavy losses in the diesel segment, as continuing consumer concerns resulted in its biggest hit yet, with demand down -29.9 per cent.

Ministers are also considering funding measures to cut pollution with a tax on new diesel vehicles. Many drivers of plug-in hybrids in particular fail to charge-up regularly, meaning the majority of the time the vehicle is no greener or any more cost-effective than its traditional fuelled counterpart.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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