United Kingdom vehicle sales plunge on diesel slump

United Kingdom vehicle sales plunge on diesel slump

United Kingdom vehicle sales plunge on diesel slump

Diesel registrations fell -30.6% in the month and are now tracking at -16.1% in the year-to-date.

Just over 163,500 new cars were registered in November, down 11.2% against the same month previous year as diesel sales fell 30.6%.

But, on the other hand, new registrations of alternative fuel vehicles have jumped by a third, compared to the same time a year ago.

Increases in demand for petrol and alternative fuel vehicles (AFV), with this latter including electric battery powered cars, failed to offset the heavy losses for diesel. Business auto registrations fell by more than 33 per cent. Private registrations fell by 5.1%, while fleet registrations dropped by 14.4%. Fleet sales traditionally make up more than half of new auto sales.

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

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This follows the recent Budget, in which Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced he would be increasing taxes on brand new diesel cars in order to cut air pollution, rather than targeting older diesel cars, vans and trucks, that pump out far greater quantities of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants. The latest set of figures indicate that registrations of new cars have dropped by 5% in the 11 months of 2017, with just under 2.4 million new cars sold.

The Ford Fiesta remains the biggest selling model ahead of the VW Golf and Ford Focus.

Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, added: "The SMMT warned last month that if the government failed to intervene, the new vehicle market would continue to suffer, and sadly that proves to have been the case today".

"Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences".

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