Mistrust in diesel cars is causing UK car sales to plummet in Britain
The UK car market took another hit today as it was revealed that it has declined for the seventh consecutive month.
Just 152,192 new vehicles were registered in October, according to new figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Demand in new cars crashed by -12.2 per cent over the month as motorist’s confidence in new cars declined as the vilification of diesel cars continues.
Confidence and trust of diesel cars has plummeted since the 2015 ‘diesel gate’ scandal which revealed the true emissions output of these cars.
Diesel car engines produce high quantities of nitrogen oxides which are harmful to the lungs and heart, and can lead to respiratory issues, heart attacks and strokes.
Declines were seen across all sectors, with business and fleet demand down -26.8 per cent and -13.0 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, dealers reported -10.1 per cent fewer private buyers taking delivery of new cars in the month.
Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle (AFV) demand continued to rise, up 36.9 per cent to 8,244 registrations, while petrol models enjoyed a more modest growth of 2.7 per cent.
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.
The Government’s ongoing crackdown on older ‘dirty diesel’ has had a significant impact on the new car market
Year-to-date, the overall market is down -4.6 per cent on 2016 levels, with 2,224,603 cars registered in the first 10 months.
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.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new car market but 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.
“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.”
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 car market, with sales plummeting by almost 30% in October.
The entire ca market in Britain declined by 12.2 per cent in October
“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.
“With the widespread uncertainty and general confusion surrounding diesels and the potential for charges and restrictions in London and other major cities, a distinct lack of buyer confidence is the primary reason for this dramatic drop.
“We would expect to see this trend continue if the Government fails to intervene, so Mike Hawes has rightfully called for this problem to be tackled in the upcoming Autumn Statement.
“Confidence in new, cleaner diesel vehicles must be restored and consumers need to understand that no town or city has plans to charge Euro 6 diesels to enter.”