New car sales decline accelerates with 4.1% April registrations dip

The UK’s new car sales market declined once again as April’s registrations ended 4.1% down with the month’s second lowest registrations total since 2012, the SMMT has reported.

A total of 161,064 units were registered last month as private registrations fell by 10.3% following a rise of more than 26% in April 2018, according to the the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Fleet demand, meanwhile, remained stable, growing 2.9%, with these businesses registering 2,498 more cars than in April 2018.

The SMMT again called for Government to put policies in place to help capitalise on consumer demand for electric vehicles (EVs) after the alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) grew by 12.7%, despite a decline in sales of zero emission-capable plug-in hybrids fall by more than a third (34.4%).

Battery electric cars recorded a strong uplift, from 929 to 1,517 units, but still only represent 0.9% of the market.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “While it’s great to see buyers respond to the growing range of pure electric cars on offer, they still only represent a tiny fraction of the market and are just one of a number of technologies that will help us on the road to zero.

“Industry is working hard to deliver on this shared ambition, providing ever cleaner cars to suit every need.

“We need policies that help get the latest, cleanest vehicles on the road more quickly and support market transition for all drivers.

“This includes investment in infrastructure and long term incentives to make new technologies as affordable as possible.”

Manufacturers are investing heavily to bring ultra-low and zero emission cars to market, with some 40 plug-in models now available in showrooms, and over 20 more expected to arrive in 2019.

However, if this still emerging sector is to reach meaningful levels, measures and incentives that build business and consumer confidence will be vital.

[source: Automotive Management online]