Continued slump in demand for diesel and political uncertainty continues to hit car industry

New car registrations declined by 3.4% year-on-year in March, with political uncertainty and the continuing slump in demand for diesel offsetting the usual sales boost due to the introduction of new 19 plates.

March is traditionally a key month for car sales because of the plate change. This year a total of 458,054 cars were registered, compared to 474,069 last year, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The bulk of the decline again came from the slump in demand for diesel-engined cars, with registrations of such vehicles falling 21.4% to 120,677. By contrast, registrations of petrol cars rose by 5.1% to 312,075, with demand for Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs) increasing by 7.6% to 25,302.

Notably, sales of superminis rose by 4.3%, with the category accounting for 33.7% of all registrations in the UK. The Ford Fiesta remains the best-selling car in the UK, with 14,676 registrations in March, and 23,474 so far in 2019. The Vauxhall Corsa was second on the best-seller list, with the Volkswagen Golf third.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes said: “March is a key barometer for the new car market, so this fall is of clear concern. While manufacturers continue to invest in exciting models and cutting-edge tech, for the UK to reap the full benefits of these advances, we need a strong market that encourages the adoption of new technology.”

Hawes again said that the car industry “urgently” needs an end to the political uncertainty caused by the current Brexit situation.

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Comments
10

4 April 2019

Registration figures don't tell you much about the state of the market, but actual sales figures would.  Which manufacturers have been pre-registering and how many?  I'd hazard a guess that quite a few of those run-out Corsas have yet to find customers!

4 April 2019

"Hawes again said that the car industry “urgently” needs an end to the political uncertainty caused by the current Brexit situation."

...but no mention of the fact that German factory orders have now slumped to their biggest drop since 2009 (the year after the crash).  Is Brexit to blame for that, too?  People like the idiot Hawes can't carry on mentioning Brexit in every sentence when the WORLD is seeing a slowdown, with car makers all over the globe shedding jobs and making workers redundant.  Look again at the start of this paragraph - FACTORY orders are down, not just car manufacturers.  There is a worldwide slowdown for consumer goods...

"China and the US are driving the slowdown in the world economy. The Chinese government is gradually moving China's growth model away from exports and credit-fuelled investment towards domestic consumption."

Although Brexit uncertainty may be affecting a few sales, Britain cannot (whether in or out of the EU) carry on being unaffected by a worldwide slowdown in demand.  So the idiot Hawes should understand that this has virtually zero to do with Brexit.

4 April 2019

Of all the small cars you can choose from why are 13244 people in March buying a soon to be replaced Corsa - first launched in 2006!!??

4 April 2019

For similar reasons to the people buying the soon to replaced Golf

4 April 2019

It's nothing to do with extortionate car price inflation then? 

Car prices have rocketed in recent years, regardless of extra safety and tech kit, fueled by greed and disguised by the smoke screen of finance / PCP packages. That strategy is not sustainable, and is now coming home to roost.

Superminis are selling better than other cars because people can't afford bigger cars so are trying to stuff all the family into small cars as a compromise.

But with some Superminis now costing over £20,000 (not even including much more expensive sports models), they can get stuffed as far as I'm concerned......and that's before companies like Peugeot use BREXIT as an excuse to increase their already huge prices by an additional 20% !!!!

4 April 2019
gavsmit wrote:

It's nothing to do with extortionate car price inflation then? 

Car prices have rocketed in recent years, regardless of extra safety and tech kit, fueled by greed and disguised by the smoke screen of finance / PCP packages. That strategy is not sustainable, and is now coming home to roost.

Superminis are selling better than other cars because people can't afford bigger cars so are trying to stuff all the family into small cars as a compromise.

But with some Superminis now costing over £20,000 (not even including much more expensive sports models), they can get stuffed as far as I'm concerned......and that's before companies like Peugeot use BREXIT as an excuse to increase their already huge prices by an additional 20% !!!!

Coupled with the fact, smaller cars are now as big or bigger than some of the cars that used to be considered in the class above.. The Polo now being the size of a Golf, the 3 series the size of a 5 series as an example.. 

4 April 2019
Pre-reg fest or give-away prices to car rental companies, no other reason surely.

4 April 2019

Cars are just to good and have been for a few years now.

Saw a 10 year old BMW 1 series 2.0(?) petrol, looked like it was new as the 1 series design has barely changed over the years. Almost certainly had air-con, lecy windows, auto wipers/lights and being a 120 is plenty quick enough. Will probably do another 10 years if keeping to average mileage use. Why would you part-ex it plus £20k and end up with a weaker 1.5 3 pot?

If you're not interested in cars buy a quality one new, cherish it and you're be rewarded with 20 years of rust free motoring.

4 April 2019

manufacturers continue to invest in exciting models, would he care to name them? The average cars now are not exciting, and havent been for years.. Some have looked the same for years, some manufacturers have a range of vehicles that all look the same, and some just make vehicles as exciting as a fridge freezer, and some just make them so unappealling to the eye, only Stevie Wonder would drive them.. 

5 April 2019

cpi inflation calculator claims that £20000 today was worth £7520.81 in 1988. Anyone got any old price lists?

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