New car sales plunge by 12pc in the UK
New car sales have plunged 12.2pc in October over in the UK, marking it the seventh consecutive month of declines in sales across the water.
This acceleration in decline comes on the foot of a fall of 9pc recorded the previous month in September.
According to the chief executive of trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes, falling business and consumer confidence was to blame for the drop,
“This is being compounded by confusion over Government policy on diesel,”
“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 UK.”
The UK Government said earlier this year that it plans to end sales of conventional diesel and petrol cars by 2040 and government ministers are now drawing up plans to tax diesel cars more heavily in towns and increase duty on the fuel.
Demand for diesel vehicles plunged as much as 29.9pc in October as a result of the moves against diesel by the UK authorities.
Over the same period, there was a jump of 36.9pc in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, such as electric cars and hybrids with 8,244 registrations. The slump in the diesel market was so severe it could not be offset by a 2.7pc rise in demand for petrol cars. In total, new car registrations fell to 158,192 in October.
The overall vehicle market is down 4.6pc in the year to date, with 2.22m cars registered in the first 10 months of 2017. Industry experts are now predicting full-year sales of cars will fall 4.7pc to 2.57m units this year and have revised down their forecast last week. Mr Hawes of The SMMT said:
“We urge the Government to use the forthcoming Autumn Budget to restore stability to the market, encouraging the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles as fleet renewal is the fastest and most effective way of addressing air quality concerns,"