UK new car sales dropped in August as diesel orders continued decline

Sales of new diesel cars have fallen for the 29th month in a row, although the pace of decline is slowing, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Its figures show August 2019’s new car market was 1.6% behind August 2018, at 92,573 car sales. Within that, petrol and alternative fuel vehicles rose in demand but diesel orders dropped 12.2%.

Registrations from both the private and fleet sectors declined in the month, down -1.7% and -3.5% respectively, as demand in the small volume business segment increased by some 962 units.

Zero emission cars grew fastest, up 377.5%, to 3,147 units as new models and some pent up demand boosted registrations, while 4,014 hybrid electric cars also joined UK roads, an uplift of 36.2%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “August is typically the new car market’s quietest month so the huge increase in EV registrations is very visible but especially welcome. It’s great to see consumers respond to the massive industry investment made over many years.

“While this is encouraging, these figures also show the scale of the challenge ahead. It’s a long road to zero and while manufacturers can deliver the technology, they can’t dictate the pace of uptake.

“To support a smooth transition and deliver environmental gains now, we need a long-term government commitment to measures that give consumers confidence to invest in the latest technologies that best suit their needs.”

[Source: Automotive Management Online]