Diesel registrations drop by a third in October 2017

Marco Green
November 6, 2017

The UK's new vehicle market fell 12.2% year-on-year in October, according to the latest figures from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

There were 158,192 new units registered, with overall demand down by 12.2% in the month, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle (AFV) demand continued to rise, up 36.9% to 8,244 registrations, while petrol models enjoyed a more modest growth of 2.7%.

Commenting on the latest figures, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new auto market but this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesel".

Overall year-to-date figures saw a decline of -3.5% on 2016, with 307,647 registrations.

Falling consumer confidence largely caused by uncertainty surrounding the future of diesel has been blamed for the recent fall in registrations. It's been a few months since the Ford managed to take the number one spot, but the all-new model looks to have put it back in the game.

The SMMT is now predicting full-year sales of cars will fall 4.7 per cent to 2.57m units this year, having revised down its forecast last week.

As a result of the seemingly terminal decline in diesel auto registrations, the SMMT is calling for the government to reassure buyers that there will be no bans, charges or other restrictions place on the latest diesel cars in the future. By the end of the year, it's expected we'll see a 4.7 per cent decline.

However, AFV's increasing market share couldn't offset the decline in diesel registrations, which fell by -29.9% in October - the most noticeable drop yet.

SMMT has urged government to provide "reassurance" to consumers and industry that new diesel cars will not face bans or restrictions.

"In the longer term this correction in sales is positive for the market, and should reduce concerns of new auto oversupply impacting negatively on used-car values".

The organisation has added that this is likely to impact the purchase of newer, cleaner diesels which are more likely to meet the stricter Euro VI emissions standard, even if measures put in place by councils are only likely to target older, more polluting diesel cars.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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