The UK’s new car market is struggling, with sales down last year, and a further drop already forecast for 2018. March saw the 12th consecutive month of decline, but why have the sales of new vehicles gone from record highs to such lows? The first thing to remember is that despite what the mainstream press states, the market is not really ‘struggling’. Last year, over 2.5 million vehicles were sold in the UK, compared to 2.69 in 2016. A drop of around 200,000 vehicles cannot really be called a crisis, especially as 2016 was a record year, with the highest sales figures ever recorded. It is a case that over time, sales figures will ebb and flow. Yet in this instance, there are a few factors which are inorganically causing a seismic shift in the industry, and this could end up being goo
The UK new car market is continuing to suffer, with a dramatic drop in diesel sales leading to a twelfth consecutive month of decline. New figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that sales figures in March 2018 dropped by 15.7% compared to the same month last year. However, March 2017 was the biggest month on record for new car sales, as buyers seized the chance to purchase vehicles before new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates came into force. The SMMT states that despite this large drop, March 2018 still represents the fourth biggest since registration tracking began. As new 18 plate vehicles came to dealer forecourts, 474,069 units were sold, compared to 562,337 during 2017. That was the last month of sales growth in the country, representi...
The UK new car market has suffered another monthly decline, with diesel sales hit hard during February. According to new figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), last month saw the country’s registrations dip by 2.8% compared to February 2017. While the start to the year has been disappointing, figures for the first three months of last year were higher than normal, due to new vehicle excise duty (VED) rules being implemented in April 2017. February is traditionally a quiet month, as buyers prepare to spend on new plate vehicles introduced in March. In January, new car sales were down 5.3%. Therefore a 2.8% drop is an improvement, although the current year is still 5.1% down over the first two months. Overall, 80,805 units were sold. Dem
The UK automotive industry has called for realistic policies from the UK Government to support the transition to a low carbon future, with a warning that the anti-diesel agenda and slow take-up of electric vehicles could mean industry misses its next round of CO2 targets in 2021, with negative consequences for the UK’s own climate change goals. The move came as a new report published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) confirmed that the fleet average CO2 of newly registered cars rose for the first time on record in 2017 – despite vehicles becoming ever more efficient. The SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2018: Driving the transition to a low carbon future reveals that carbon tailpipe emissions rose for the first time in two decades last year, by 0.8% to 121.0g/km. Th
The UK’s used vehicle market saw a drop in sales during 2017, although the market remained strong compared to the country’s new registration figures. During the year, used car sales fell by just 1.1%, with more than 8.1 million vehicles changing hands, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Despite a 5.1% fall in the market in the fourth quarter, annual transactions were at their second highest level, following the record set in 2016. The country’s new car market dropped in 2017, sales falling by 5.7% compared to the previous year. This has been driven by a collapse in the diesel market, due to demonisation in the media and increased vehicle excise duty (VED) rates being implemented by the country’s government. The new diesel market share dropped by 1
UK new car registrations declined for the first month of 2018, as the year gets off to a shaky start following the first annual drop in figures for six years during 2017. The figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that in January, 163,615 vehicles were driven off the country’s forecourts, a fall of 5.3% compared with the same month last year. This represents the 10th consecutive month of decline in the country’s market. Demand fell across all sectors of the industry, with business registrations down 29.7%, fleet purchases falling 1.8% and private sales dropping 9.5%. Meanwhile, continuing trends seen towards the end of the year, the SUV market was the only vehicle segment to register growth, with demand up 6.6% and a market share of 20.2%
The UK has seen investment in its automotive industry halve since the country voted to leave the European Union, new figures reveal. As the process continues, there are still no answers as to how the country will trade with Europe. Any deal that does not offer free trade routes would see World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs introduced, which could mean a 10% charge on every product that enters and exits the country. During 2017, investment in the UK industry fell by 33.7%, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This equates to £1.1 billion (€1.25 billion) put into the country’s various vehicle manufacturing plants and development centres, down from £1.7 billion (€1.9 billion) in 2016, and £2.5 billion (€2.85 billion) in 2015.
New driver assistance technology is aiding road safety in the UK, as research shows that seven in ten new vehicles are sold with systems that mitigate driver errors and prevent accidents. Latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and JATO Dynamics shows that around 66.8% of new cars are offered with at least one self-activating safety system, either as standard or as an optional extra. Nearly 1.8 million new vehicles a year are now available with collision warning systems alone, up 20% on the previous year. This is just one of a raft of technologies now in showrooms, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), parking assistance, adaptive cruise control and overtaking (or blind spot) sensors. AEB, for example, which automatically applies the brakes ...
The UK new car market declined in 2017, with annual registrations falling for the first time in six years, according to new figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Sales in December fell by 14.4%, marking the ninth consecutive month of decline in the country. Over the 12 months, 2,540,617 units were registered, a fall of 5.7% compared to a record year in 2016. However, despite the decline, which was also down on 2015’s figures, the total is still the third highest in a decade. While sales of petrol vehicles rose over the year, with a 2.7% increase, this was not enough to offset a drastic drop in the sale of diesel vehicles, which ended 2017 down by 17.1%. The SMMT attributes this collapse to the anti-diesel rhetoric passed onto the public by me
UK car manufacturing fell 4.6% in November, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 161,490 cars left British factories in the month, driven by overseas orders, which rose 1.3%. In November, exports reached their highest proportion of output this year at 85.0% but production for the home market continued to falter, falling for the fourth month in a row. It dropped -28.1%, the largest decline in 2017, as consumer confidence decreased and speculation over negative government policies towards diesel affected the market. Year-to-date, more than 1.5 million cars have rolled off production lines, with nearly eight out of 10 destined for one of 160 global markets. While export volumes remain stable, production for the home market is down -9.0%...