The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has blamed ”uncertainty, falling consumer confidence and supply constraints” for a 3% year-on-year fall in SMMT November trends for new car registrations.
There were 158,639 vehicles registered last month. This is the third consecutive month following the implementation of stringent WLTP emissions regulations that UK new vehicle registration numbers have fallen.
Demand for petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose 3.5% and 24.6% respectively, but failed to offset a -16.7% fall for diesel cars.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Model and regulatory changes combined with falling consumer confidence conspired to affect supply and demand in November. The good news is that, as supply constraints ease, and new exciting models come on sale in the months ahead, buyers can look forward to a wide choice of cutting-edge petrol, diesel and electrified cars. It’s now critical that a Brexit deal is secured to boost consumer confidence and provide a stimulus to the new car market as we enter the new year.”
In the year to date there have been 2.2m new cars registered, which is down 6.9% compared to the first 11 months of 2017. Diesel vehicles, which have been facing increased regulation and tax, have had a 29.8% year-on-year fall in new registrations.
In other SMMT November trends, the best-selling vehicle, both for this month and the year to date, was the Ford Fiesta. A new entrant to the top ten in November was the Vauxhall Mokka X, which sold 2,778 units.
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: “The new car market saw a marginal decline in November and remains in line with annual forecasts. Going forward, when short-term challenges are overcome, the market is expected to see the positive impacts.
“The trend in pure electric and plug-in vehicles sales is encouraging. Consumer appetite is increasing and, as supply improves, we expect electric vehicles’ market share to continue to grow.”