Auto sales decline deepens as diesel models plummet

07 November, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Valerie Burke
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"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". Year to date, that means the new vehicle market has declined -4.6%, which is in line with the SMMT's forecasts.

Alex Buttle, from auto buying comparison website Motorway.co.uk, said: "Diesel's market share is plummeting and consumers aren't listening to rhetoric about cleaner diesel models, however much the industry drums on about it". Elsewhere, BMW's 4 Series has shot into the top ten for the very first time this year, while Mercedes continues to make its presence felt thanks to the A-Class, while the C-Class retains its position of number eight in the year-to-date.

Hawes said: "Consumers need urgent reassurance that the latest, low emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions, anywhere in the United Kingdom".

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.

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.

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

Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, comments: "The Government's ongoing crackdown on older "dirty diesel" has had a significant impact on the new vehicle market, with sales plummeting by nearly 30% in October".

"Consumers are showing huge interest in eco-friendly cars and it's reflected in new registrations". Whilst I expect we'll see a small level of further softening continue into next year, this is mainly because Q1 2017 was so strong.

Demand for diesel vehicles plunged 29.9 per cent in October as a result. "When you couple that uncertainty with last week's largely expected interest rate rise, and the potential for a change to the tax treatment of diesel vehicles in the Autumn Budget, it's easy to see why vehicle purchases are being delayed", he said.

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